Man charged with extortion plot using Romney’s tax returns

A Tennessee man has been charged with attempting to extort $1 million in digital currency in a scheme involving former presidential candidate Mitt Romney's (R) tax returns.

The Justice Department charged Michael Mancil Brown, 34, with six counts of wire fraud and six counts of extortion.

According to the indictment, Brown had a letter delivered in August, 2012 to Price Waterhouse Coopers saying he had stolen Romney's tax returns from the accounting firm and that he would release them publicly unless $1 million was deposited into a Bitcoin account.

The indictment says Brown also offered to release the the allegedly stolen tax returns if someone else paid him $1 million in Bitcoin currency.

Romney in September released his 2011 tax returns, but resisted pressure throughout the campaign to disclose more.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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