Graham Ivan Clark – the alleged bitcoin hacker who took over several high-profile Twitter accounts last summer to get his hands on bitcoin he had no claim to – has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Graham Clark Will Serve Three Years
Despite being an 18-year-old teenager, Clark was looking at roughly ten years in prison, and ultimately accepted the three-year sentence – followed by three years of probation – as part of a plea deal. One could argue that the heavy amount of time being faced by Clark had something to do with the types of accounts he was able to compromise.
Last July, the world was shocked when several bitcoin and crypto giveaway messages made their way onto the account pages of several well-known individuals and celebrities including former president Barack Obama, his vice president Joe Biden, Microsoft mogul Bill Gates and South African entrepreneur Elon Musk. The giveaways promised followers of these figures and others that if they sent X amount of bitcoin to a specific address, they would see their money get doubled.
Naturally, this wasn’t the case, and instead the hacker wound up taking home more than $120,000 worth of the world’s number one digital currency by market cap. The number doesn’t seem that big on paper – especially when compared with how much was lost via the hacks of both Coincheck and Mt. Gox in the past – though the story got heavy media attention due to so many top-level accounts being intercepted. The attack took place on July 15 of 2020.
What also make the situation unique is that while crypto scams have appeared online or through social media before, they usually involve fake accounts using the likeness of various celebrities. While they may appear like the real thing, there are typically small differences that when looked upon, will let someone know the account is fake.
However, this time around, things involved the actual accounts of the individuals mentioned above. At the time of the attack, Clark was only 17 years of age. He is presently being sentenced as a “youthful offender,” meaning he will not be serving his prison time in a standard jail but will rather be in a system designed for younger adults which allegedly involves a “military-style boot camp.” He has also agreed to give back all the money he’s taken.
Always Being Watched
After he leaves prison, he’ll be required to serve three years of probation. Should this probation be violated, the minimum ten-year prison sentence will be reinstituted. He also will not be able to operate any computer systems without supervision and will be required to turn over all login credentials for accounts that are presently in his name.
Aside from Clark, two other individuals – who have not yet been named – allegedly helped him in the attack and are facing federal charges or their own.