TAMPA – The teenager accused of burning the Twitter hack of celebrity and corporate accounts in an illegal attempt to get Bitcoin got his bail on Saturday:
That’s $ 725,000.
But seventeen-year-old Graham defense attorney Ivan Clark said his client has more than $ 3 million in Bitcoin.
His bail is six times what he was accused of stealing last month through an elaborate scheme that authorities claim deployed online on July 15th. It involved manipulating Twitter employees, taking control of celebrity and corporate Twitter accounts and raising $ 117,000 in hard-to-track cryptocurrency in a matter of hours.
Authorities say the Tampa teenager is the “mind”
Clark was in the county jail, but appeared on a video screen in a small courtroom opposite County Judge Joelle Ann Ober inside the Hillsborough County Courthouse annex.
He is accused by the state because he is a young man, federal authorities say, and was detained without bail when he was arrested on Friday. Two other people involved in the regime face federal charges in California.
Under Florida law, it would take 10 percent of Saturday’s bail – $ 72,500 – to release Clark pending trial.
Both sides discussed what would be an adequate amount of bail for a seventeen year old accused of 30 criminal charges.
Darrell Dirks, Hillsborough’s deputy attorney general, called Corey Monaghan, Florida law enforcement special agent, to testify.
The agent said Clark hired Nima Fazeli, 22, from Orlando and Mason Sheppard, 19, from the United Kingdom “as delegates” to “manipulate” Twitter employees to give up access to the corporate system. He declined to specify how Fazeli and Sheppard, who face federal accusations in the northern district of California, manipulated the employees.
Twitter on Thursday updated a blog post published after the scheme was put in place, calling its systems hacking “social engineering” which targeted “a small number of employees through a phishing attack” to get their credentials and log into Twitter systems.
“This attack was based on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems,” the company wrote.
The New York Times He reported in July that the hacker had access to Twitter’s internal Slack messaging system and gained control of special tools that could be used to detect any Twitter account.
Prosecutors asked for a $ 1 million bail for each of Clark’s 30 counts and argued that Florida jurisprudence states that it must prove that the money used to publish his bail was legitimately obtained.
“Because, based on the behavior of this defendant, I believe it is appropriate to assume that every single cent to which this defendant has access comes from illicit earnings,” said the prosecutor. “And we’re talking about millions of dollars.”
Defense attorney David Weisbrod denied that his client’s assets had been obtained illegally. He explained to the judge that Clark was the subject of a criminal investigation conducted last year by prosecutors from Hillsborough and Santa Clara, California. They got a search warrant and seized about $ 15,000 in cash from Clark, in addition to 400 Bitcoins, Weisbrod said.
When prosecutors refused to accuse Clark in April, his defense attorney said, they returned the cash and 300 Bitcoins, which is worth more than $ 3 million. Weisbrod has argued that it legitimizes these assets.
“I can’t think of a greater indication of legitimacy than the law enforcement officials who return the money,” said Weisbrod. He asked the judge to set the bail for $ 20,000.
The judge decided to set the bail at $ 25,000 for 29 counts. For the thirtieth indictment, the judge ordered that if Clark sends the bail, he must wear an electronic monitor and be confined to his home, except for visits to the doctor or his lawyer. The judge prevented him from accessing the Internet on any device and ordered the seventeen year old to hand over his passport if he had one.
Some of the celebrities who authorities claimed were raped by Clark included alleged Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Mike Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Wiz Khalifa, Floyd Mayweather, Elon Musk and Kanye West. A handful of companies have also suffered breaches of their accounts, including Apple and Uber. Twitter has stated that hackers have access to 130 Twitter accounts and have tweeted from 45.
Clark faces 17 counts of communications fraud, 11 counts of fraudulent use of personal information, and one counts each of organized frauds for over $ 5,000 and access to a computer or electronic device without authorization.