WASHINGTON (AP) — The purported theft of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s tax returns has all the trappings of a high-tech whodunit: a politically themed burglary, a $1 million demand in hard-to-trace Internet currency, password-protected data and a threat to reveal everything in three more weeks. But can it be believed?
The Secret Service was investigating the case Thursday after someone claimed to have burglarized a PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting office in Franklin, Tenn., and stole two decades’ worth of Romney’s tax returns. Authorities are studying computer thumb drives that were delivered with an unusual demand: a $1 million payment in hard-to-trace “Bitcoin” Internet currency.
The plot in this mystery could be a hoax, but it surfaces at a critical moment during the 2012 presidential campaign amid the Republican and Democratic conventions.