The Florida hacker who staged a brazen bitcoin scam last summer across high-profile Twitter accounts, including those of Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Elon Musk, will serve three years in jail and three years probation after agreeing to plead guilty.
Graham Ivan Clark, who was 17 at the time, was charged as a “youthful offender” for hacking into Twitter and taking control of the accounts, a state judge said during a virtual hearing Tuesday. Clark can serve some of his sentence at a boot camp. He will receive credit for serving 239 days in prison to date.
Clark was arrested with two alleged co-conspirators last year after the July Twitter hack, in which over 100 high-profile accounts were taken over, including CoinDesk’s. The hijacked accounts tweeted links to a cryptocurrency scam, netting the perpetrators about $120,000 at the time. Clark initially pleaded “not guilty.”
The Tampa Bay Times first reported Clark would plead guilty on Tuesday morning.
“The factual basis for each of these counts relate to the criminal, fraudulent takeover of many Twitter accounts, and then using this fraudulent takeover to convince their victims to send cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency accounts under the control of the perpetrators,” state prosecutor Derrell Dirks said during the hearing Tuesday.
Prosecutors charged Clark with 30 different felony counts, including organized fraud, several counts of communications fraud, fraudulent use of personal information and accessing a computer without authority.
During the hearing, Clark and his attorney, David Weisbrod, affirmed that all of the stolen cryptocurrencies had been turned over to officials for the purposes of restitution.
During his probation, Clark has agreed to unannounced, unlimited searches and will provide unlimited access to his electronic devices to those supervising his probation, including Florida law enforcement officials.
Daniel Nelson contributed reporting.