Swatting conspiracy charges dropped

February 6, 2018

Ian Whitehurst instructed by Gary Broadfield at Cartwright King represented a young man accused of being part of a wide ranging online conspiracy involving participants around the globe. The investigation centred around the activities of the hacking group Lizard Squad, and in particular on a conspiracy by the group to commit a huge number of “swatting” calls. Swatting involves the use of the internet to make hoax bomb threats or false reports of violent crime in order to provoke a massive police response. The calls can target institutions like schools and universities or can target the homes of specific victims. The incidents in this case took place in the USA and resulted in a prosecution led by the FBI in conjunction with the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit. The client was also accused of online fraud.

As a result of careful analysis of the charges and evidence, the cyber fraud and wide ranging conspiracy charges were dropped and the defendant pleaded guilty to just three substantive charges of making false bomb threats. Sentence has been adjourned until later in the year.