A 17-year-old Tampa Bay, Florida teenager who allegedly masterminded the recent hacking of several high-profile Twitter accounts was arrested early Friday morning and charged with 30(!) felony counts.
The teenager, identified as Graham Clark, is facing one count of organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, one count of fraudulent use of personal information with over $100,000 or 30 or more victims, 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information, and one count of access to computer or electronic device without authority, according to WFLA.com.
The massive breach on July 15th targeted Twitter accounts for a number of high-profile individuals, including former president Barack Obama, former vice president Joe Biden, Kanye West, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, and Warren Buffett, as well as major companies such as Apple, Amazon, Uber, and Cash App.
Upon hacking these accounts, Graham encouraged their respective followers to send Bitcoins to a secure address, promising that the money would be returned double the amount. Over $100,000 ended up being sent to an account associated with Graham, state prosecutors say.
“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,” Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said in a statement.
Graham is due to make his first court appearance on Saturday.
Update: Mason Sheppard, 19, of the United Kingdom and Nima Dazeli, 22, of Orlando, Florida were also charged in connection with the hack.