Twitter hack ringleader owns more than $3 million in cryptocurrency

Photo (c) nito100 - Getty Images

His attorney argues that the assets are legal and can be used to help him post bail

​Over the weekend, the attorney representing the alleged ringleader of the massive Twitter hack that compromised a number of high-profile accounts said his client owns 300 bitcoin, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Graham Ivan Clark was arrested on July 31 for promoting a Bitcoin giveaway scam called "CryptoForHealth,” which netted him $117,000 in cryptocurrency. Clark now faces 30 criminal charges.

During a virtual appearance at Hillsborough County Courthouse in Florida on Saturday, Clark’s attorney David Weisbrod said his client has a collection of digital currency that is worth $3.4 million at current market prices -- more than enough for the 17-year-old to pay his $725,000 bail. 

Prosecutors said Clark’s “conduct” raises questions about the legitimacy of the stash. They pointed out that Florida case law states that Clark must prove that the funds used to post bail were legitimately obtained.

“Because, based upon the conduct of this defendant, I believe it’s appropriate to assume that every single penny that this defendant has access to is by ill-gotten gains,” the prosecutor said. “And we’re talking about millions of dollars.”

Defense attorney denies illegitimacy

Weisbrod pushed back against prosecutors' claim that the bitcoin must have been illegally acquired. He argued that because the authorities returned 300 of the 400 bitcoin confiscated as part of a criminal investigation last year, the teen’s assets are legitimate. 

"I can think of no greater indication of legitimacy than law enforcement giving the money back," said Weisbrod, who noted that the funds didn’t come from illegal activities. 

The judge ultimately decided to set Clark’s bail at $25,000 per 29 counts. 

“For the 30th charge, the judge ordered that if Clark posts bail he must wear an electronic monitor and be confined to his home, except for visits to the doctor or his attorney,” according to the Tampa Bay Times. “The judge barred him from accessing the internet on any device and ordered the 17-year-old to surrender his passport if he has one.”

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