The New York Times reported in July that the hacker accessed Twitter’s internal Slack messaging system and gained control of special tools that could be used to take over any Twitter account.
Prosecutors sought bail at $1 million per charge for each of Clark’s 30 counts and argued Florida case law says he must prove the money used to post his bail was 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 David Weisbrod denied that his client’s assets were illegally obtained. He explained to the judge that Clark was the subject of a criminal investigation last year conducted by prosecutors in Hillsborough and Santa Clara, Calif. They obtained a search warrant and seized about $15,000 in cash from Clark, plus 400 Bitcoin, Weisbrod said.
When prosecutors declined to charge Clark in April, his defense attorney said, they returned to him the cash and 300 Bitcoin, which is worth more than $3 million. Weisbrod argued that legitimizes those assets.
“I can think of no greater indication of legitimacy than law enforcement giving the money back,” said Weisbrod. He asked the judge to set bail at $20,000.
The judge decided to set 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. 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.
Some of the celebrities who authorities say were hacked by Clark included presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Mike Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Wiz Khalifa, Floyd Mayweather, Elon Musk and Kanye West. A handful of companies had their accounts hacked, too, including Apple and Uber. Twitter said the hackers had access to 130 Twitter accounts and tweeted from 45.
Clark faces 17 counts of communications fraud, 11 counts of fraudulent use of personal information and one count each of organized fraud for more than $5,000 and accessing a computer or electronic device without authority.