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Press Release

Pottsville Man Pleads Guilty To Unlawfully Accessing The Snapchat Accounts Of Dozens Of Female Victims And Selling Their Private Photographs For Financial Gain

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Brandon B. Boyer, age 34, of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today before United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion, to the computer hacking offense of obtaining information from protected computers.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the criminal Information to which Boyer pleaded guilty alleges that for a two-year period from February 2020 to February 2022, Boyer unlawfully accessed the computers of dozens of adult female victims in order to search for and obtain nude photographs that he could then sell.  More specifically, Boyer acknowledged accessing victims’ Snapchat accounts at the behest of “clients” who paid him to break into the accounts and obtain the images.  Boyer admitted that he accomplished this, in part, through use of an app that allowed him to send text messages to victims posing as a Snapchat representative.  Through a technique known as “phishing,” Boyer then coaxed the victims into changing their passwords and sending him the verification codes that were generated.  This allowed him to then access the accounts.    

Boyer agreed that the monetary loss attributable to his conduct was between $40,000 and $95,000.  

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Philadelphia Division.  U.S. Attorney Jeffery St John is prosecuting the case.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is five years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

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Updated September 19, 2023