back to article Feds charge man in $1m 'Dr Evil' scam to blackmail Mitt Romney

A Tennessee man has been charged over a high-profile extortion and wire fraud scam involving former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax returns. Michael Mancil Brown, 34, of Franklin, Tennessee faces six counts of wire fraud and six counts of extortion over his alleged involvement in a plot to blackmail Romney …

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Anonymous Coward

QUOTE 'The blackmailer offered to release the mysterious documents if $1m was paid into a separate Bitcoin account.'

I'm not sure that is how blackmail works, isn't it the other way around?

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Joke

Forget the Death Star, I'm sure that'd be a Kickstarter project that Obama would have pledged a few dollars towards funding.

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Anonymous Coward

Actually...the non-issue (IMO) is exactly what Obama wanted..

This issue of disclosing tax returns was the distraction Obama wanted and got. Mindless fools/followers clamored and demanded to see Romney's tax returns. For me, I couldn't care less. The man is a successful businessman and proven leader..... and He was demonized because of that. Obama is now president and we can see first hand is lack of leadership. Congress and the Senate are split because Obama's "No compromises" attitude. The man is on a "Goodwill" tour of Africa which will cost US Taxpayers between 60 and 100 million. That may not seem like a lot....but tours of the White House have been stopped for high school students, US Citizens and tourists. Obama does not think like an American (IMO) and has never built anything created jobs through his own sweat and brain power. He comes from academia and many of them do not live in the real world IMO.

If you haven't heard of Atlas Shrugged, you need to read the book or watch Part I & II of the movies. The storyline is similar to what is happening today.....in that successful business leaders are demonized by the government....and the government creates new regulations to punish them for their success and individual drive. Yet it's the businesses that keep the economy moving...afloat.

Best wishes on surviving and keeping what you earned,

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Re: Actually...the non-issue (IMO) is exactly what Obama wanted..

Unlike say the demand for a birth certificate.

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RE: Blackmail

<QUOTE>QUOTE 'The blackmailer offered to release the mysterious documents if $1m was paid into a separate Bitcoin account.'

I'm not sure that is how blackmail works, isn't it the other way around?</QUOTE>

Please RTFS before opening your mouth (RTFM is too high a bar for El Reg). The black mailer threatened to publish Romney's alleged tax documents if Romney (or the GOP) failed to pay the million dollars *OR* if a million dollars were posted to a separate account before Romney caved.

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Boffin

@AC Re: Actually...the non-issue (IMO) is exactly what Obama wanted..

Oh dear. In case you hadn't noticed, Atlas Shrugged is *FICTION*!!!

It's easy when writing fiction to get things happen the way you want them to because it's not what we call "real".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actually...the non-issue (IMO) is exactly what Obama wanted..

the only redeeming feature of Ayn Rand's collected works is that their citation makes it easy to identify people with a whimsical understanding of economics.

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Re: Actually...the non-issue (IMO) is exactly what Obama wanted..

Rand's grasp of human nature (the true essence of Man's Desires) was uncanny. Her prescience was amazing (as was Orwell's).

Failing to grasp that, when confronted by our common time, is truly sad (and accounts for why we're in this mess right now, with a Government Behemoth as it has become, and the Executive Branch grabbing for more and more control).

You have my pity. Time to get yourself some good reading material.

The OP of this thread was spot on.

(PS: As a practicing accountant, I can tell you that economics isn't nearly as hard to grasp as Liberals would like us to believe.)

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Re: birth certificate.

Demand for the birth certificate was valid. The only requirements to run for president are that you have to be a natural born citizen (with a no longer and rather specific waiver for those alive at the time the country was founded) and a minimum age. A valid birth certificate is pretty much what you use to prove this. Given how the copy that has been produced was cleaned up, I'm still of the opinion he's hiding something even though I accept that he was born here. And yes, he effectively used this as a distraction from his overall incompetence.

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Re: Rand's grasp of human nature was uncanny

If you want truly uncanny and timeless try Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn. I'm thinking in particular of the part about the traveling troupe that puts on the play. I think the downvotes you are collecting are indicative of how spot on that bit is. I'm not a fan of her Rationalism, but her books do distill the essence of quite a few archetypes. I didn't read Atlas Shrugs only Fountainhead, but they still come through rather clearly. I'll grant they have more appeal to young people who like clear demarcations of moral values, but old farts could benefit from revisiting those clear demarcations even if they don't revisit the books.

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Re: birth certificate.

Tom: Demanding a birth certificate for the only black guy to have run, when such a thing has never before been provided or demanded publicly, was racist.

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Re: Actually...the non-issue (IMO) is exactly what Obama wanted..

Citation on the costs of the Goodwill tour? Also, Atlas Shrugged basically says if you're poor you deserve it and if you're rich then screw everybody else. It's basic premise is "everybody for himself/herself," and that's exactly what Mitt did when working for Bain. Look at the documentation and you see that Mitt "saved" some companies by eliminating a lot of jobs and reducing the business' productivity and just gutted others. Yeah, that's who we want to "save" our economy.

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Re: Rand's grasp of human nature was uncanny

Ah so nice to see the TPers have changed their thoughts on abortion and gay rights, or were they just unaware that Rand supported abortion and gay rights? ;) Don't tell me they just watched Atlas Shrugged and jumped on objectivism without actually understanding the philosophy?

Rand's ideals were the product of her youth and the affect of the October revolution on her life. I really cannot say that I would think much differently had I grown up under the same circumstances. That would not make me (or her) entirely right though. Some parts of Ayn's thinking do make sense, they are rooted roughly in sense, that capitalism recognizes individual rights whereas socialism frequently overlooks them (her actual thoughts were more frank), however they fail to truly take into the double edged sword of human nature. In capitalism man's natural greed is a driving force, but it also prohibits natural safeguards such as not destroying a resource for future generations. Having truly unregulated capitalism is great until it goes to shit. Which it will because we have evolved over time to have a healthy greed \ self preservation instinct, we as a whole will naturally opt to have more now rather than make a choice which fosters sustainability.

Rand's basic concepts around privatizing nearly everything and removing any kind of social assistance or insurance programs would actually result in recreating the situation that she experienced in her youth. It would result in greater disparity in wealth than we have even now, which would result in unrest which over time would result in regime change.

Rand was clever, I in no way think she was unintelligent (bordering on crazy perhaps, maybe fanatical is a better term), but I think she was a product of her experiences like all of us. There are things we can learn from her thoughts, but blinding accepting a partial interpretation of them because you think you will pay less tax is short sighted. We absolutely do have to respect individuals rights more, we certainly have to hold public officials to better account for their actions and mistakes. Viewing any kind of charity as almost a crime, viewing any kind of social insurance program as an abomination and unnatural (capitalism does not view insurance as unnatural, they view it as a source of profit) frankly begins to remove the reasons we live together as society. The very reason is strength in numbers, shared burden, mutual protection etc.

Watching Tea party folks stand up and advocate an ideology they do not seem to understand and effectively supporting things like abortion, gay rights, a considerably smaller military, the end of agricultural assistance, the end of fema etc. Remember Rand said she thought homosexuality was disgusting, but said she would fight for laws to prevent any kind of discrimination privately or publicly against people based on who they loved. This is one area certain people forget, you have to be able to find a way to support things you do not agree with if opposing them means contravening your core beliefs.

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Re: birth certificate.

Perhaps true, but nobody ever seemed to ask for birth certificates from any other president.

John McCain was born in Panama as I recall, but nobody seemed bothered to argue the toss over that.

Of course it hasn't really made much difference either way, whoever got in was going to carry on the work of Bush spying on the public, chasing down whistleblowers and generally taking a dump on the constitution.

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Fraud against Mitt Romney?

Fraud against Mitt Romney? Now that's crossing a red line. We cannot allow this to happen. This ain't no two-a-penny citizen from who-knows-where. This here is an upstanding member of the community. An en-tre-pre-noor. This man creates businesses which employ thousands*. His taxes help fund the US welfare state*! Folks, justice has got to be seen to be done on this one.

* Er, well, ahem. What?

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Re: Fraud against Mitt Romney?

Quite - after all he could have just said to go ahead and publish 'em, that he'd nothing to hide...

Hmm.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fraud against Mitt Romney?

Like Soetoro's school records? Or his real bc?

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Its a shame the country won't finally get to see Mitt's tax returns.

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Re: Mitt's tax returns.

We have seen Mitt's tax returns. And what they show is that he cares a damn bit more about disadvantaged people than most of the whingers about him on this site.

No, he wasn't my first choice, but he'd been a hell of a lot better than the incompetent currently occupying the office.

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Re: Mitt's tax returns.

Yeah, but the interesting tax returns are the ones you file *before* you're making a run for the presidency. Anyone can keep things clean for a couple of years if they know they're going to have to publicly release them.

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