A team of hackers claims to have Mitt Romney’s tax returns and has threatened to release them publicly at the end of the month unless a ransom is paid. The hacker group claims to have obtained the files from PricewaterhouseCooper’s Tennessee office on August 25th. Here is how the hackers got their hands on it according to DailyDot.com.
Romney?s 1040 tax returns were taken from the PWC office 8/25/2012 by gaining access to the third floor via a gentleman working on the 3rd floor of the building. Once on the 3rd floor, the team moved down the stairs to the 2nd floor and setup shop in an empty office room. During the night, suite 260 was entered, and all available 1040 tax forms for Romney were copied. A package was sent to the PWC on suite 260 with a flash drive containing a copy of the 1040 files, plus copies were sent to the Democratic office in the county and copies were sent to the GOP office in the county at the beginning of the week also containing flash drives with copies of Romney?s tax returns before 2010. A scanned signature image for Mitt Romney from the 1040 forms were scanned and included with the packages, taken from earlier 1040 tax forms gathered and stored on the flash drives.
These files are expected to be released to the public on September 28th. However the hackers said that Romney could avoid the release of his tax documents unless they send the hackers $1 million in Bitcoins, an online currency that is difficult to trace.
?The keys to unlock the data will be purged and whatever is inside the documents will remain a secret forever,? said the hackers in a PasteBin document. ?Failure to do this before September 28, the entire world will be allowed to view the documents with a publicly released key to unlock everything. And the same time, the other interested parties will be allowed to compete with you.?
Romney’s tax returns has been criticized by Democrats, President Barack Obama’s campaign, and Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Democrats claim that Mitt Romney has not paid taxes for over a decade. ?Never in modern American history has a presidential candidate tried so hard to hide himself from the people he hopes to serve,? said Reid in a speech at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday.
Romney released a tax return for 2010 and plans to do it again for 2011. He refused to release any returns from before 2010. ?I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more,? said Romney in a debate this past Janaury. ?I don?t think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes.?
The hackers have not offered any proof that they have the tax documents. The Secret Service is now investigating the hackers. The Secret Service investigates financial crimes and is known for protecting the Presidents and candidates.