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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Graham Ivan Clark, who as a minor masterminded an attack on prominent Twitter accounts as part of a cryptocurrency scam last year, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to all state charges against him in exchange for a three-year sentence in a juvenile facility, the Office of the State Attorney 13th Judicial Circuit in Tampa announced.

Why it matters: Clark, now 18 years old, and his accomplices took control of popular, verified Twitter accounts — including those of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Elon Musk — and used those accounts to post a link to a bitcoin wallet, falsely claiming that those who contributed would be sent double their money back to them.

Context: Twitter temporarily disabled all verified accounts from tweeting for several hours in response to the hack, essentially crippling the social media platform that's become a key source of communication for millions of people around the world.

  • The bitcoin wallet linked to the scam received a total of 12.86 Bitcoin, which was worth approximately $117,440 on the date of the attack.

What they're saying: “He took over the accounts of famous people, but the money he stole came from regular, hard-working people," Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said in a statement.

  • "Graham Clark needs to be held accountable for that crime, and other potential scammers out there need to see the consequences," he added.

The charges Clark pleaded guilty to included one count of organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, one count of fraudulent use of personal information with more than $100,000 or at least 30 victims, and 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information.

  • He also agreed to three years of probation after his sentence.

Go deeper

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and has "again diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

3 hours ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.