The 17-year-old accused of hacking Twitter on July 15 to promote a fake bitcoin giveaway, Graham Ivan Clark, reportedly owns over $3 million worth of bitcoin, according to his attorney David Weisbrod.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Weisbrod revealed Clark has over 300 BTC, worth over $3.3 million, on Saturday in a court hearing, responding to prosecutors who argued that the funds he has obtained must have been illegally obtained given his conduct in allegedly masterminding the Twitter hack.
Weisbrod denied the claim arguing that last year Clark was the subject of a criminal investigation that saw authorities seize 400 BTC and $15,000 in cash from him. Prosecutors denied to charge Clark, however, and returned the cash and 300 BTC to him.
Why only 300 of the 400 BTC was returned isn’t clear, but Weisbrod argued he can “think of no greater indication of legitimacy than law enforcement giving the money back.” Clark’s bail is set at $725,000, six times what he allegedly stole using the fake bitcoin giveaway on Twitter.
Authorities say Clark was the “mastermind” behind the Twitter hack that saw the accounts of Apple, Uber, Barack Obama, Binance, Coindesk, Bill Gates, and others get hacked to promote a fake bitcoin giveaway. He is facing state charging because he is a juvenile, but two others allegedly involved are facing federal charges in California.
The two other individuals – 19-year-old U.K. resident Mason Sheppard and 22-year-old Florida resident Nima Fazeli – were reportedly recruited as “proxies” to “manipulate” Twitter employees into giving up access to the firm’s internal systems. Twitter itself revealed they got access via a “social engineering” scheme that used a “phone spear-phishing attack.”
The New York Times has reported the hackers only initially accessed Twitter’s internal Slack messaging system, before managing to compromise the access of one of the microblogging platform’s employees.