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The Twitter hacker was tried and sentenced as a “Youthful Offender,” as he was yet to turn 18 when the hack was perpetrated. This helped him to avoid a minimum 10-year sentence that would have followed if he’d been convicted as an adult.
The infamous July 2020 Twitter hacker, Graham Ivan Clark will be serving a 3-year jail term after pleading guilty to multiple counts of financial fraud charges. As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Graham who at the time of the incident was 17 years old agreed to the jail term and the extra 3 years probation period that will follow.
Graham was the alleged mastermind of the hack that took over the accounts of prominent Twitter profiles in the summer of 2020, including those of Elon Musk, President Joe Biden (the then-Democratic presidential candidate), former President Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), Warren Buffett, Floyd Mayweather and Mike Bloomberg to mention a few.
The hack was used to solicit funds in Bitcoin (BTC) from unsuspecting followers of these handles in a generic tweet similar to that sent to President Joe Biden as shown below:
“I am giving back to the community. All Bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back doubled! If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000. Only doing this for 30 minutes … Enjoy!”
The hack was quickly stopped as Twitter restricted the affected account, but that was not before Graham and his co-perpetrators Nima Fazeli of Orlando and Mason Sheppard of the United Kingdom netted about $121,000 in BTC.
In the course of the hearing, Graham’s attorney, David Weisbrod, confirmed that Graham had turned over all the cryptocurrency he had acquired to the authorities as part of his restitution moves. Additionally, Graham has agreed not to use computers without appropriate authorization, and he would also be turning over the passwords to all of his devices for further scrutiny.
Twitter Hacker Jail Terms Highlights Leniency
Graham was tried and sentenced as a “Youthful Offender,” as he was yet to turn 18 when the hack was perpetrated. This helped him avoid a minimum 10-year sentence that would have followed if he’d been convicted as an adult.
The sentence depicts leniency as Graham may also qualify to serve some of his term in a military-style boot camp.
“Graham Clark needs to be held accountable for that crime, and other potential scammers out there need to see the consequences,” Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said in a statement. “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.”
Scams are still commonplace in the cryptocurrency industry today, but the hunt down and subsequent trial of Graham and his cohorts is a testament against the claims that transactions or fraud in the blockchain and crypto space are difficult to crack. While Graham was tried at the state level, Nima and Mason will face Federal prosecutors.