At the time of the Twitter hack and his arrest, Graham Ivan Clark was 17, therefore, being sentenced as a “youthful offender.”
Graham Ivan Clark, the mastermind of the high-profile Twitter hack leading to the Bitcoin scam on July 15th, 2020 has been sentenced to 3 years in prison.
Clark was arrested on July 31st, 2020 from Tampa, Florida when he was 17 and charged with multiple counts of organized fraud, communications fraud, fraudulent use of personal information, and accessing computer or electronic device without authority.
According to Tampa Bay Times, on Tuesday 16th, Clark, who is now 18, pleaded guilty to state charges in exchange for a three-year prison sentence followed by three years probation.
Clark will be banned from using computers without supervision or permission from law enforcement. However, since Clark was 17 at the time of arrest, he is being sentenced as a “youthful offender” rather than as an adult that would have put him to prison for a minimum 10-year.
It is worth noting that Clark’s victims included verified Twitter accounts of high-profile celebrities, entrepreneurs, and tech giants including:
- Joe Biden
- Bill Gates
- Elon Musk
- Justin Sun
- Jeff Bezos
- Kanye West
- Barack Obama
- Kim Kardashian.
Clark along with two other collaborators Nima Fazeli, aka “Rolex,” 22, of Orlando, Florida, and Mason Sheppard, aka “Chaewon,” 19, of Bognor Regis United Kingdom, used the compromised accounts to carry out large scale cryptocurrency scams asking people to send in cryptocurrency and get it doubled within no time.
According to the DOJ, the Bitcoin address used by the group received more than 400 transfers worth more than $100,000.
As for how the hackers managed to hack such high-profile accounts, according to Twitter, one of the company’s employees was tricked into phone phishing allowing hackers to access the company’s internal support tool and hack into verified accounts.
In a statement, as reported by Tempa Bay Times, Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said that,
“Graham Clark needs to be held accountable for that crime, and other potential scammers out there need to see the consequences.”
“In this case, we’ve been able to deliver those consequences while recognizing that our goal with any child, whenever possible, is to have them learn their lesson without destroying their future,” Mr. Warren added.