Florida teen, UCF student charged with massive celebrity Twitter hack

The 17-year-old was arrested in Hillsborough County and faces 30 felony charges.

Orlando, Fla. — A 17-year-old in Tampa and an Orlando man have been arrested for their alleged involvement a worldwide cryptocurrency scam that involved the breach of several high-profile Twitter accounts.

The Hillsborough State Attorney named Graham Ivan Clark as the “mastermind” of the July 15 hacking.

The case against 22-year-old Nima Fazeli of Orlando was charged in a Northern District of California criminal complaint the with “aiding and abetting the intentional access of a protected computer.”

That complaint can be read here.

Clark faces 30 felony charges for his alleged scheme to defraud and steal the identities of prominent people and post on their Twitter accounts directing victims to send Bitcoin to accounts associated with Clark.

He reaped more than $100,000 in Bitcoin in just a matter of hours, according to an investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice.

“These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here. This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida. This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that,” Hillsborough State Attorney Warren said.

The charges Clark faces are:

  • Organized Fraud (over $50,000) – 1 count
  • Communications Fraud (Over $300) – 17 counts
  • Fraudulent Use Of Personal Information (Over $100,000 OR 30 OR MORE VICTIMS) – 1 count
  • Fraudulent Use Of Personal Information – 10 counts
  • Access Computer Or Electronic Device Without Authority (SCHEME TO DEFRAUD) – 1 count

Here are screenshots of some of the high-profile accounts compromised during the attack.

“This defendant lives here in Tampa, he committed the crime here, and he’ll be prosecuted here,” Warren added.

Florida law allows minors to be charged as adults in financial fraud cases such as this, says the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office.


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