Florida Teen Hacking Kanye West and Barack Obama’s Twitter In Bitcoin Scam Gets Jail Sentence

WENN/Avalon/Euan Cherry

Graham Ivan Clark, who also briefly took over the accounts of Kim Kardashian, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Joe Biden in July 2020, has pleaded guilty to 30 counts of communications fraud and other crimes.

A Florida teenager who hacked the Twitter accounts of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and former U.S. President Barack Obama as part of a cryptocurrency scam has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Graham Ivan Clark also briefly took over the social media profiles of tech billionaires Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos, as well as then-presidential nominee Joe Biden last July, calling on followers to send payments in Bitcoin, which would be doubled and sent back as part of the celebrities’ bid to give back to the community amid the COVID crisis.

The then-17-year-old ended up collecting up to $117,000 (£84,200) from the ploy, but he was soon tracked down by authorities and held in custody, and on Tuesday, March 16, he pleaded guilty to 30 counts of communications fraud and other felony crimes, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

He surrendered the Bitcoin funds to officials, and as part of a plea deal, was ordered to spend three years in a juvenile detention centre – minus time served, as well as three years on probation. The sentence is the maximum allowed as Clark, who masterminded the whole scam, was a minor at the time of the crimes.

Two other suspects, Orlando resident Nima Fazeli and British man Mason Sheppard, were also arrested and charged last year in connection to the hacking spree.

The incident, at the time, forced Twitter to suspend all verified accounts for several hours. “We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly,” the micro-blogging platform said in a statement. “You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident.”

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