Three arrested, charged with recent hack of high-profile Twitter accounts

Twitter binary code illustration
A 3D printed Twitter logo is seen in front of a displayed cyber code in this illustration picture.

Two teenagers and a 22-year-old were charged with hacking the Twitter Inc accounts of famous people including former President Barack Obama, billionaire Bill Gates and Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, the Department of Justice said on Friday.

Mason Sheppard, a 19-year-old British man who went by the alias Chaewon, was charged with carrying out the hack, as well as related wire fraud and money laundering crimes, according to a Justice Department statement.

Orlando-based Nima Fazeli, 22, nicknamed Rolex, was charged with aiding and abetting those crimes.

The Justice Department did not name the third defendant, but the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office in Tampa said it had arrested 17-year-old Graham Clark.

In a statement, Twitter said it appreciated the “swift actions of law enforcement.”

The FBI said that two of the accused had been taken into custody, without identifying them.

Clark on July 15 posted messages under the profiles that solicited investments in bitcoin, a digital currency, said the Florida State Attorney’s Office. A publicly available ledger of bitcoin transactions showed he was able to obtain more than $100,000 that way.

Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren told journalists that his office had filed 30 felony charges against Clark, who was in state custody.

Warren said the adolescent was being prosecuted under state rather than federal law because Florida law enabled the state to charge him as an adult.

“This was a massive fraud orchestrated right here in our own backyard, and we won’t stand for that,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s