“Teenage Thief’s Brazen Brag: ‘Fraud is a Thrill’ as Over $600K Stolen”

A Wisconsin teenager who at one point bragged ‘fraud is fun’ while hacking into the sports betting giant DraftKings to steal from over a thousand customers has pleaded guilty to just that.
"Teenage Thief's Brazen Brag: 'Fraud is a Thrill' as Over $600K Stolen"

Wisconsin Teen Pleads Guilty to Hacking DraftKings Accounts

In a surprising turn of events, a Wisconsin teenager, Joseph Garrison, has pleaded guilty to hacking into over 60,000 accounts on the popular sports betting website, DraftKings. Garrison, who is just 18 years old, used stolen log-ins and passwords to gain unauthorized access to the accounts last November.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have accused Garrison of then sharing this information with others, who proceeded to steal over $600,000 from 1,600 accounts through a process known as credential stuffing. Court documents reveal that Garrison even texted a co-conspirator, saying, “Fraud is fun. I’m addicted to seeing money in my account.”

DraftKings has confirmed that some of their customers’ accounts were compromised, although they have not disclosed the names of those affected. The company has assured that they have reimbursed all the stolen funds. A spokesperson for DraftKings emphasized their commitment to customer safety and security.

This is not Garrison’s first brush with the law. He was previously charged in Wisconsin for allegedly paying individuals to make bomb threats to his high school using BitCoin. This act, known as “swatting,” was reportedly done out of boredom. During the investigation into these bomb threats, authorities discovered that Garrison had made over $2.1 million by the time he turned 18, earning an astonishing $15,000 per day between 2018 and 2021.

Further examination of Garrison’s activities led investigators to his home in February 2023, where they found evidence of programs used in credential stuffing. It is estimated that he had over 40 million username and password combinations on his computer. Garrison has now pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit computer intrusion, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. His sentencing will take place at a later date.

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The case is being handled by the Southern District of New York’s Frauds and Cybercrime Unit, with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Mead and Micah Fergenson leading the prosecution.