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Press Release

High Point Man Sentenced for Hacking Snapchat Account of Soldier and Selling Nude Images of Victims

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

NEW BERN, N.C. – A High Point man was sentenced yesterday to 13 months in prison and 3 years’ supervised release for two counts of computer fraud and abuse and one count of wire fraud.  On October 6, 2022, Patrick Marquez Black pled guilty to the charges.

“We are targeting hackers and cybercriminals who invade privacy for cash,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “This defendant hacked the Snapchat of an active-duty soldier, used her account to steal from her friends, sold her photos for cash and violated her privacy. Our cyber-prosecutors are partnering with law enforcement to ensure that the world wide web does not become the wild, wild west.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Black, 30, hacked into the Snapchat account of a female soldier stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC, and changed the password to lock the victim out of her account.  Once he gained access, Black used the account in three ways.  First, he pretended to be the victim and requested her Snapchat friends send money to CashApp and other online money accounts to cover the costs of a fake emergency.  Second, he shared and sold nude images and videos of the victim that he was able to access from the Snapchat account.  Third, he used her account to obtain the username and password of other Snapchat accounts as well as nude images and videos of other victims.  This activity occurred for at least three years.  

Due to the actions of this defendant, nude images and videos of the victim were seen by co-workers, friends, and family members.  She was threatened by people who believed that they had loaned her money, and she had not paid them back.  She paid over $300 to her friends as “re-payment” for the money the defendant stole.  While serving in the U.S. Army, the defendant caused this victim mental and emotional damage.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. US Army CID investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad DeVoe prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:21-CR-141.

Updated March 14, 2023