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Florida teen sentenced to 3 years for cryptocurrency scam

March 16 (UPI) -- A Florida teenager will serve three years in prison after pleading guilty to participating in a hack of more than 100 high-profile Twitter accounts as part of a cryptocurrency scam.

Graham Ivan Clark, 18, was sentenced Tuesday as part of a deal with the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office in Tampa. The agreement sentenced Clark, who was 17 at the time of the hack, as a juvenile.

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In addition to three years in prison as a juvenile facility, Clark will serve three years of probation. He received credit for the more than seven months he's already spent behind bars.

"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.

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"Graham Clark needs to be held accountable for that crime, and other potential scammers out there need to see the consequences. In this case, we've been able to deliver those consequences while recognizing that our goal with any child, whenever possible, is to have them learn their lesson without destroying their future."

Clark faced 30 felony charges related to the scam, including organized fraud, communications fraud, fraudulent use of personal information and access to computer or electronic device without authority. He initially pleaded not guilty to 30 counts.

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The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California also charged two other men in the scheme -- Mason "Chaewon" Sheppard, 19, of Bognor Regis, England, and Nima "Rolex" Fazeli, 22, of Orlando, Fla.

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In addition to non-public figures, the suspects are accused of targeting Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West and Warren Buffet in mid-July, using their accounts to ask people to send him money using bitcoin, promising to double any amount sent to it.

Prosecutors said the scam brought in more than $100,000 in bitcoin from some 400 accounts in one day, all of which was recovered.

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