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Press Release

Pottsville Man Sentenced To 18 Months’ Imprisonment For Hacking Into The Snapchat Accounts Of Dozens Of Female Victims And Selling Their Private Photographs

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 that Brandon B. Boyer, age 34, of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on January 18, 2024, by United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion, to 18 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by a two-year term of supervised release, for the computer hacking offense of obtaining information from protected computers.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, for a two-year period from approximately 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.  Boyer accessed 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 otherwise private sections of the accounts.  Boyer acknowledged earning between $50,000 and $60,000 from this activity.  Some of Boyer’s “clients” utilized the photographs that they obtained via Boyer to cyberstalk and to attempt to extort victims into providing additional photographs.       

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Philadelphia Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffery St John prosecuted the case.

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Updated January 19, 2024