A British national extradited to the US last month has pleaded guilty in New York to a role in one of the biggest hacks in social media history. The July 2020 Twitter hack affected over 130 accounts including those of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Joseph James O’Connor, 23, known as PlugwalkJoe, pleaded guilty to hacking charges carrying a total maximum sentence of over 70 years in prison.
The hacking was part of a large-scale Bitcoin scam.
O’Connor, who was extradited from Spain, hijacked numerous Twitter accounts and sent out tweets asking followers to send Bitcoin to an account, promising to double their money.
O’Connor, from Liverpool, was charged alongside three other men over the scam.
US teenager Graham Ivan Clark pleaded guilty in 2021. Nima Fazeli of Orlando, Florida, and Mason Sheppard, of Bognor Regis in the UK, were charged with federal crimes. US Assistant Attorney-General Kenneth Polite Jr described in a statement O’Connor’s actions as “flagrant and malicious”, saying he had “harassed, threatened and extorted his victims, causing substantial emotional harm”.