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Harvard University bomb hoax participant gets probation

A New Hampshire man accused of participating in a bomb hoax last year that demanded a large amount of bitcoin, forcing the partial evacuation of Harvard University, was sentenced to three years of probation.

William Giordani, 55, of Manchester, N.H., was arrested last year on charges including making an extortionate bomb threat later had that charge dropped and pleaded guilty in January to a charge of concealing a federal felony. U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley in Boston sentenced him Thursday to three years of probation.

The charge carried a maximum penalty of three years in prison, but prosecutors in a sentencing memo recommended only probation. They said that they believed his participation was in response to a Craigslist ad and that he took the job to fuel a drug habit. They said he has been participating in a drug recovery program.

According to an affidavit filed in his case, Giordani found a post on Craigslist advertising a simple task for $300. All he had to do, according to the ad allegedly written in broken English by a “Nguyen Mihn” asking that the job taker buy some supplies and drop them off to the person’s son at Harvard.

It turned out the supplies were part of a “proof” that the ad-lister had placed three bombs around Harvard’s campus on April 13, 2023. The ad-lister placed calls to the school demanding bitcoin as a ransom and that if they didn’t comply, he would blow up the bombs.

The university evacuated the Science Center Plaza, where the proof “bomb” was planted and conducted a “controlled destruction.” Inside the bag was just wire, a small metal safe and some fireworks.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston said that once Giordani knew he was part of such a scheme, he had a legal obligation to report it to police, but that he instead “deleted incriminating text messages, told his girlfriend not to speak to anyone about it and went on the run from police.”

Source: Boston Herald