(Reuters) – Two teenagers and a 22-year-old were accused of hacking Twitter Inc. accounts of celebrities including former President Barack Obama, billionaire Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, said the Justice Department on Friday.
Mason Sheppard, a 19-year-old British man who passed by the alias Chaewon, was accused of carrying out the hack, as well as related wire fraud and money laundering, according to a Justice Department statement.
Orlando-based Nima Fazeli, 22, nicknamed Rolex, was accused of aiding and abetting these crimes. The Department of Justice does not name the third defendant, but the Hillsborough County State Attorney & # 39 ;s Office in Tampa said it had arrested 1
The FBI said two of the accused had been taken into custody without identifying them.
Mr. Clark on July 15 published messages under the profiles requesting investment in bitcoin, a digital currency, says the Florida State Attorney & # 39 ;s Office. A widely available ledger of bitcoin transactions showed that he could get more than $ 100,000 that way. Reuters could not immediately find his lawyer. Hillsborough County State Attorney & # 39 ;s Office said it had no information in its system about who represented him. Phone calls and an email to Mr. Clark's mother was not returned immediately.
Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren told reporters that his office had filed 30 felony charges against Mr. Clark, who was in state custody.
Mr. Warren said the teenager was prosecuted under state rather than federal law because Florida law allowed the state to charge him as an adult.
"This was a huge scam organized here in our own garden, and we will not be responsible for it," he said.