The 17-year-old resident of Tampa, Florida, Graham Ivan Clark, who is accused of the renowned hack of several celebrity Twitter accounts pleaded not guilty to all or any allegations on Tuesday in Hillsborough Circuit Court.
In line with the report from Tampa Bay Times, prosecutors have pressed 30 charges against Clark for which he could also be sentenced for 200 years in prison.
The court documents received by the news outlet accused Clark of 17 counts of communications fraud, 11 counts of illegal use of private data, one count of organized fraud over $5k and one count of illegally accessing a computer or devices.
Clark is presently in jail on a $725k bail and his bail hearing is scheduled for 5th Aug. where his attorneys are expected to argue for some relief in the bail amount.
Clark along side 22-year-old Nima Fazeli of Orlando and Mason Sheppard, 19 of the U.K. allegedly administered the hack earlier in July to gain access to around 130 Twitter accounts of high-profile people and renowned businesses including Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Apple, among others.
The perpetrators allegedly used the accounts to post tweets asking people to send any amount of Bitcoin [BTC] to a specified wallet address, promising them they might receive double the Bitcoin’s reciprocally. They were able to dupe Twitters users of around $117,000 in about three hours of the hack.
The two others involved within the hack, Fazeli and Sheppard, face similar charges within the California court. Fazeli may face a 5-year jail term and an imprisonment of upto $250k while Sheppard is subject to 45 years in prison and a $750k in fine.
KYC Leading To The Arrest Of Scammers
Investigators found that the plan for the hack began with a Discord user by the username Kirk#5270, who also claimed to be a Twitter employee, connecting with Fazeli and Sheppard. He reportedly promised the two that he would access and take hold of the Twitter accounts reciprocally for Bitcoin transfers. The 2 hackers had then purportedly posted the offer on OGUsers, a marketplace popular among hackers.
The FBI found that the information of OGUsers’ was hacked in April and data like public forum postings, private messages, internet addresses and email addresses were posted on the web. While skimming via this data, the FBI traced the accounts of Fazeli and Sheppard and also found transactions made by them over Coinbase.
They then received the photos of a driver’s license of both the hackers, posted as a KYC document on the platform, and moved ahead with the arrest. Tampa police arrested Clark earlier on 31st July.