A self-confessed hacker who sought a million-dollar Bitcoin payment in exchange for then-US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s tax records has been found guilty of extortion and fraud.
In August 2012 Michael Mancil Brown, 37, sent a letter to one of Romney’s accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), claiming to have hacked the company’s servers and obtained the tax records of Romney and his wife Ann. He demanded a million-Bitcoin ransom.
At the time Romney was three months away from the presidential election and had been criticized for only releasing two years of tax returns, showing he paid about 15 per cent tax. Brown claimed to have the tax returns pre-2010 and said he offered similar terms to the local Democratic and Republican parties.
The following month, using the moniker Dr Evil, Brown put up a series of posts on Pastebin claiming that PwC’s network had been physically breached on August 25. A hacking term member working in the office above had broken into a PwC terminal, extracted the files to a USB stick, and then squirrelled it out of the building.
Brown threatened a full release of the tax returns online by September 28, and said that some media firms had been sent copies but