17 year old Graham Clark from Florida has been arrested along side 19-year-old Mason Sheppard from Bognor Regis in the UK, and Nima Fazeli, 22, from Orlando for masterminding the biggest hack on twitter last month.
They have been charged for hacking the account of top politicians, businessmen and celebrities including that of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk amongst others.
Clark is facing 30 felony charges for scamming people across America that includes organized fraud, communications fraud, fraudulent use of personal information, and access to computer or electronic devices without authority.
The charges have been related to the July 15 incident when some of the big accounts including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Kanye West among others were hacked to promote a Bitcoin giveaway scam. The scam was able to steal less than 13 BTC worth about $120,000.
The group targeted a total of 130 Twitter accounts while the hackers tweeted from 45 accounts, accessing the DM inbox of 36, and downloading the data of 7.
Sheppard was found thanks in part to his driver’s license used to verify himself with crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance. His accounts were also found to have sent and received some of the scammed BTC.
Similarly, Fazeli used a driver’s license to verify with Coinbase where accounts controlled by him allegedly received payments in exchange for stolen Twitter usernames.
Both are facing $250,000 fine and while Fazeli is facing five years in prison, Sheppard is being charged with wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy as well on top of computer intrusion as such facing a 20-year sentence.
On July 15 tweets were sent out from the accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk, while the accounts of some celebrities were also compromised.
The tweets offered to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address, resulting in people around the world being scammed out of more than $100,000 in Bitcoin.