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$120,000 Crypto Scam Got Hacker A 5years Prison Sentence

A British citizen involved in the massive Twitter hack in July 2020 has received a five years prison sentence in the United States.

Joseph James O’Connor, also known as PlugwalkJoe, received his sentence in the Southern District of New York after pleading guilty to the criminal activities over a month ago. His involvement in the breach led to his arrest in July 2021.

During the notorious Twitter incident, O’Connor and his associates gained unauthorized access to the platform’s backend tools. Exploiting this access, they took 130 prominent user accounts to execute a cryptocurrency scam, resulting in approximately $120,000 in illicit profits.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) revealed that the defendant and his co-conspirators orchestrated the crypto scam and sold unauthorized access to various Twitter accounts, including those belonging to public figures worldwide.

Additionally, O’Connor’s crime includes orchestrating SIM-swapping attacks to take control of users’ Snapchat and TikTok accounts. In one case, he successfully stole crypto assets worth about $794,000 from a New York-based cryptocurrency company.

The DoJ further stated that O’Connor and his accomplices laundered the stolen cryptocurrency through multiple transfers and transactions, some involving Bitcoin swaps via cryptocurrency exchange services. Eventually, some of the stolen funds got traced to a cryptocurrency exchange account controlled by O’Connor. It diverted agencies’ attention towards him and served as evidence that facilitated his arrest.

In June and July 2020, O’Connor’s crime also included cyberstalking two victims, one of whom was a minor. He falsely claimed that the individual threatened to shoot people and attempted to provoke a response from law enforcement agents.

TechCrunch reported that O’Connor admitted his crimes were “stupid and pointless.” In addition to his prison term, he will face three years of supervised release upon completing his sentence. Furthermore, O’Connor will now forfeit $794,000, the worth of some of the assets he stole.

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