Group Claims to Hold Romney Tax Records For Ransom

While Democrats have been chiding Mitt Romney to release his tax records, the former governor has released his 2010 and 2011 tax returns. However, a group has now claimed that they have hacked PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and obtained Romney’s tax returns and are holding them ransom for $1 million.

However, while some are claiming it is a hoax, the Secret Service and the FBI are treating it seriously. PWC is the confirmed preparer for Romney’s 2010 tax returns. The PWC in Franklin, TN received an anonymous letter informing them of the ransom demands, it was the Boston office that prepared Romney’s tax returns in 2010 and the Chairman’s office is in New York.

According to Forbes,

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The letter asserted that the returns would be sent to major media outlets unless Romney paid them $1 million in Bitcoin; Bitcoin isn’t actual money but rather internet currency that can be swapped for goods, services or cash online. The deadline for the “ransom” is September 28.

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For its part, PWC says that they don’t have any evidence that anything was actually stolen. There’s been no sign of a break-in and no indication that data has been compromised.

Romney’s camp hasn’t responded to the claims. Quite frankly, they’d be foolish to do so; almost anything they could say or do at this point – from paying the ransom to releasing the records themselves before the deadline – has the potential to make them look scared, desperate and gullible.

CNN reports,

The anonymous postings say that flash drive copies of the stolen material have been sent to the company, as well as to the county Democratic and Republican offices, and that a scanned image of Romney’s signature from the forms was included.

Jean Barwick with the Williamson County, Tennessee, Republican Party told CNN that her office found the package — a padded envelope — on Friday outside the door to the party offices. The package “didn’t seem credible,” partly because it said “for learders” instead of “leaders,” she said. Inside were a letter — one that has been posted online — and a flash drive.

“I didn’t put that in any of our computers,” and no one has looked at the contents, she said. “I put it in the drawer.”

She called state party officials, who were in Tampa, Florida, at the Republican National Convention at the time, she said.

Her office later reported the package to local police, and the Secret Service picked it up Wednesday, she said.

Obviously this group has a spelling problem, and it’s understandable why someone would not put the flash drive in their computer. The fact that the group wants to be paid in Bitcoins tells me they are either stupid or the whole thing is a fraud, or maybe both.

I previously did a story on Romney’s returns and frankly, there isn’t much to see in the 2010 tax returns. Should these people be telling the truth about the ones they have allegedly obtained, I doubt there is going to be anything in them that would be incriminating, except for the fact that the Democrats would use them to give Romney the appearance of looking bad for making a lot of money and paying a lot of taxes, even if those taxes are less percentage wise than other people.

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