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Mitt Romney tax return uproar: Hacked or hoaxed?

romneyMitt101111_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Mitt Romney’s accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, says there is no evidence that hackers gained access to their systems and stole the Republican presidential candidate’s tax records.

The firm, located in Tennessee, received an anonymous letter demanding $1 million for the tax records, or the hackers would release them to the public.

PricewaterhouseCoopers told Fox News in a statement, "We are working closely with the United States Secret Service, and at this time there is no evidence that our systems have been compromised or that there was any unauthorized access to the data in question.”

According to CNN, the anonymous group demanded $1 million in online money known as Bitcoins, a digital currency not regulated by banks or government. They said they wanted the $1 million by Sept. 28, or the tax returns will be made public. The hackers allege that the theft took place on Aug. 25, but the Franklin Police Department did not answer calls at the PricewaterhouseCoopers building in August.

However, the Williamson County party offices notified police after they received a package last week containing the letter and a flash drive, according to The Tennessean. The hackers had said encrytped tax records were delivered on flash drives to the county Democratic and Republican offices. According to CNN, both offices surrendered the contents to the Secret Service.

The hackers also said in another letter that interested parties who would prefer to see the records released were also invited to send the $1 million. They wrote that they would respond to whoever sent the money to them first, according to Nashville City Paper. The Secret Service continnues to investigate the threats.

Romney has released his tax returns from the past two years, but has maintained that he will not reveal any further.

 

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