I’m sure there are far more important things going on, but this one made me laugh:

A Tennessee man faces federal charges after a grand jury indicted him on counts of fraud and extortion, in a case stemming from claims made about tax documents of Republican Mitt Romney during last year’s presidential campaign. […]

According to the indictment, Brown’s activities on websites such as and show that he posted claims about possessing the tax records, sometimes evoking the movie character “Dr. Evil” as he did so.

The court document says that Brown never compromised the accounting firm’s computer systems, “and falsely stated that he had stolen tax documents for Willard M. Romney and Ann D. Romney for tax years prior to 2010.”

Brown then “demanded US$1 million converted to ‘Bitcoin’ and instructed that this sum be deposited in a Bitcoin account for which he provide the account number,” according to the document, to prevent the release of the documents.

Asking for the ransom in Bitcoin is the clicher for this shit-show fail parade. Consider this an open thread.

55 replies
  1. 1
    Linda Featheringill says:

    The bitcoin ransom demand sounds like a joke. Wonder if his defense will be based on that.

  2. 2
    PeakVT says:

    Unlike Rmoney, the Opportunity rover is still out there, contributing to human knowledge.

  3. 3
    Citizen_X says:

    Did he ask for his $1 million in Bitcoins in his Dr. Evil voice?

  4. 4
    Rick Massimo says:

    “Romney would TOTALLY have won if not for this!”

    – Peggy Noonan

  5. 5
    Rich2506 says:

    …he had stolen tax documents for Willard M. Romney and Ann D. Romney for tax years…

    Huh! Interesting that Ann would be filing a joint return with Willard as she never held a paid position (A “job” or a “real job”) until the campaign of 2012. My mom filed a joint return with dad, but even though her jobs got a pittance compared to his, she worked paid positions.

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    Make room over there, Wile E., here comes a two-legged coyote Super-Genius!

    On the other hand, now that they’ve nailed this guy, if you’re holding any ACME stocks, I’d advise you to dump them. Wile E. can only but so much on his own.

  7. 7

    A word on the GOP’s ridiculous “Women Are Right” campaign: FAIL.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    The way Romney ran his campaign, I’m surprised the ransom wasn’t paid.

  9. 9

    The way Romney ran his campaign, I’m surprised he wasn’t blackmailing himself as part of a complicated embezzlement and tax dodge scheme.

  10. 10
    Baud says:


    Fight Club 2, starring Mitt Romney.

  11. 11
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Southern Beale:

    You should counter with a “Woman Are Right; The GOP Sux” campaign

  12. 12
    PeakVT says:

    If you have a couple million to spare, the Lotus Esprit submarine from The Spy Who Loved Me is up for auction in September. It might make a neat centerpiece for your underground bunker.

  13. 13
    Suffern ACE says:

    The fraud charge is just embarrassing. Ending up in prison for claiming to have committed a crime he didn’t commit.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Really good post. I loved the D’s responsive tweet.

  15. 15
    greennotGreen says:

    What is a “clicher’? It sounds dirty.

  16. 16
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    You can’t make this shit up. Speaking of stuff you can’t make up, props to Paula Deen for getting publication of a new book cancelled which was scheduled for release in October 2013 and had just been pushed to No. 1 on Amazon after a surge of pre-orders from fans. That takes talent.

  17. 17
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Rick Massimo:

    – Peggy Noonan, +12

    Fixed for likelihood

  18. 18
    Comrade Jake says:

    Speaker of masterminds, the geniuses over at CNN have decided to bring back Crossfire. One of the panelists: SE Cupp.

  19. 19
    Roger Moore says:

    @Southern Beale:
    “We need to be a party that allows talented women to rise to the top. #WomenAreRight”

    Wow, that is 10 pounds of fail in a 5 pound sack. So not only are they expressing themselves badly with the bit about “allowing” women to rise to the top, they’re also admitting that they aren’t that kind of party right now and need to change. I’m guessing that exactly 0 women were involved in writing that message, which pretty well encapsulates the whole problem.

  20. 20
    maya says:

    Drawing from really old western movies, usually featuring Gabby Hayes, a bitcoin sounds like something you’d definitively want to check with your teeth. Don’t want to get stuck with any counterfeit bitcoins

  21. 21
    dmbeaster says:

    This reminds me of Trump suing Maher cause he proved he his mother was not an orangatang. How can anyone take as serious an extortion threat from Dr. Evil for ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!1!!1 ?

    in Bitcoins no less. Did sharks with laser beams deliver the extortion threat, or did they sreal the tax returns?

  22. 22
    quannlace says:

    I know almost nothing about Bitcoin, except some other snarky comments. What is it that makes it so ripe for ridicule?

  23. 23
    scav says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): That does provide a certain solid comment expliquer visceral pleasure.

  24. 24
    RSA says:

    Nice. If this guy were a kidnapper, he’d be asking for a sack of small, unmarked bills to be delivered to his home address.

  25. 25

    Yeah, we in Tennessee are real proud of the nutbars we keep elevating to national prominence.


    It was a Tennessee kid who hacked Sarah Palin’s email account a few years back, too.

  26. 26
    Suffern ACE says:

    @RSA: and when the bills got there, it would turn out that he wasn’t a kidnapper, just a kidnapper wanna be.

  27. 27
    Josie says:

    @Southern Beale: Good catch and post. There are a few Republicans that are so noxious that I have to change the channel or turn off the television when they start to speak. Marsha Blackburn is one of those.

  28. 28
    Roger Moore says:

    Bitcoin is an attempt to make an on-line, digital currency that preserves all the features of the gold standard. It’s supposed to be anonymous, untraceable, uncounterfeitable, and to have an absolutely limited supply so that it doesn’t suffer from inflation on central bank control As you might imagine, it’s a favorite of techno-libertarians. Unfortunately, it also reproduces many of gold’s less favorable features, too; the anonymity and untraceability make it a prime target for theft, and it has been subject to massive speculative bubbles and crashes.

  29. 29
    Dolly Llama says:

    I’m thinking of just being a full-time grammar/spelling/punctuation troll at Yahoo. Just go into the comment threads – any of them, topic doesn’t matter – and just start taunting the stupidest of them.

    ETA: Had to add an “r” to “grammar.” I can practice on myself. Dumbass.

  30. 30
    MattF says:

    He tried the Long Con and failed. A con artist can live well enough on what people regard as loose cash– but when you try to go for the big time and persuade people to go to the bank and withdraw their life savings– it’s a lot chancier.

  31. 31
    scav says:

    Here’s a bit on bankers making friends over in Europe (shades of Enron! among other things.
    Anglo Irish Bank scandal: ‘we are offended’ says German politician

    In one conversation – taped just two days after 30 September 2008 bank guarantee – Anglo Irish Bank’s disgraced former CEO David Drumm giggles while his colleague John Bowe recites lines from “Deutschland über alles”.

    The behaviour of the Anglo Irish executives has turned them into national hate figures in the Republic and now, it appears, also in the country which has supplied most of Europe’s money to prop up not only the Irish banking system but also the entire state.

    As Anglo Irish Bank moved towards the fiscal abyss, Drumm is heard joking, “another day, another billion”, referring to the flight of deposits out of the doomed bank before the bank guarantee in September 2008. At the time the outflow was running at over €1bn (£847m) a day.

    and there’s even solid discussion of which bodypart the illusionary estimate of €7bn was pulled from.

  32. 32
    PeakVT says:

    @quannlace: What Roger Moore said. If your time is limited, you can safely skip any story on the topic.

  33. 33
    catclub says:

    @Dolly Llama: “full-time gramma”
    You don’t look that old.

    ETA: I read it before you fixed it.

  34. 34
    Roger Moore says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    it would turn out that he wasn’t a kidnapper, just a kidnapper wanna be.

    This is a better business model than you might think. One of my Taiwanese friends has been fake kidnapped. The criminals cloned her cell phone and then called her mother pretending to be her relaying the kidnapper’s demands. It failed because the kidnappers didn’t know the dialect she used when she was speaking to her mother, but I can imagine that it might possibly work if you got the details right. And faking a kidnapping that way is a lot easier and safer than actually kidnapping somebody.

  35. 35
    piratedan says:

    @Comrade Jake: i heard she’s a panelist, so you can’t actually shoot water balloons at her, sadly, I would have tuned in for that.

  36. 36
    Suffern ACE says:

    @PeakVT: you mean the bitcoin mint is not going to take down the Fed?

  37. 37
    PeakVT says:

    @Dolly Llama: The comments at almost every major media site are a horror show. It’s futile to even read them, let alone try to inject some sanity into the discussion.

  38. 38
    catclub says:

    @scav: “also in the country which has supplied most of Europe’s money”

    Another article which fails to mention that saving the banks is the reason for the bailout, and among the banks being saved are GERMAN ones that made really foolish investments.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    you mean the bitcoin mint is not going to take down the Fed?

    Nope; it’s deliberately designed not to be able to. They’ve put a cap of 22 million bitcoins, so there will never be enough to actually run a decent-sized economy. Did I mention that it’s obviously intended to be a pyramid scheme?

  40. 40
    MattF says:

    @catclub: It’s only foolish if they don’t get a return. And with Dr. Merkel in charge, they may well. And, possibly WWIII, but that goes under the heading of ‘Risks’.

  41. 41
    Amir Khalid says:

    If I had a criminal scheme in mind, I would definitely not hire this Michael Mancil Brown chap to carry it out.

    The sky over KL today is blue with some cloud cover, while pollution indices here, in Singapore, and elsewhere are recovering to normal levels. The new school term in S’pore begins as scheduled July 1. We’re lucky that this bout of the haze was over rather quickly.

  42. 42
    Anya says:

    Something ugly is happening in North Carolina and since the media won’t cover it, blogs interested in justice and equality need to give it prominence.

    Mistermix, please look into this!

    RALEIGH, North Carolina — To little national fanfare, the largest liberal protest of 2013 took place on Monday this week in North Carolina, with thousands in attendance and hundreds getting arrested.
    For weeks, faith leaders in the Tar Heel State have gathered every Monday to give voice to women, the poor, and other groups under attack by the Republican-held legislature. (To learn more about how Republicans won back the North Carolina statehouse for the first time since the Civil War, read Ian Millhiser’s recent piece “How One Millionaire Is Turning North Carolina Into A Tea Party Utopia”.)
    This week’s Moral Monday protest, which is being organized by the North Carolina NAACP with support from groups like the Advancement Project and the AFL-CIO, was the largest to date with more than 3,000 people in attendance.

  43. 43
    scav says:

    @catclub: This one’s got some good details too. We’re sort of jumping into this mid-stream so not everything is in every article. And it’s a comperlicated mess with no white hats, let alone leiderhosen. I like that it’s in Ireland though — based on how they got pissed at the Church, they’re getting pissed at bankers might produce at least some consequences.

    Eta: everyone’s got their favorite villain in this one, and there are enough we don’t have to share.

  44. 44
    Rich2506 says:

    @Roger Moore: Heh! My mom got fooled once by a caller. During my high school years, I was once eating breakfast and we got a call. Mom answered it and later described the voice on the line: “Uh, hi, uh… mom?” “Uh! What have you forgotten NOW?!?! Um, wait a minute, you’re not my son. My son’s sitting right here.” The caller hung up.
    Yep, for a second, the other teenager and my mom were absolutely on the same page.

  45. 45
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Anya: Hopefully this wakes up the folks in NC to get off their asses and vote out the legislative folks in 2014, followed by kicking that scumbag McCrory to the curb in 2016.

    Well, that is if there are enough eligible people left to vote once they curtail early voting, institute voter ID, and do other things that we can’t rely on VRA to protect from.

  46. 46
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:


    There are a few ALL Republicans that are so noxious that I have to change the channel or turn off the television when they start to speak.

    Fixed for me.

  47. 47
    Violet says:

    @Southern Beale: Saw your comment about wanting a green bean salad recipe in last night’s recipe thread. If you’re around, let me know and I’ll post it. Sorry to go OT.

  48. 48
    Tokyokie says:

    @Baud: They probably would have had the campaign had anybody on staff who could figure out this “Internet” thing.

  49. 49
    Violet says:

    @Anya: These Moral Mondays have been going on for awhile now. Very little coverage outside of some liberal blogs. I hope they get more coverage.

  50. 50
    Anya says:


    Well, that is if there are enough eligible people left to vote once they curtail early voting, institute voter ID, and do other things that we can’t rely on VRA to protect from.

    I think this is the goal of the criminal gang that are currently in power. My brother-in-law is in his last year at Duke and is involved with the student advocacy group. He’s appalled that his fellow students are so apathetic about the restriction on their voting rights. But he thinks the fact the republicans have no control, and are overreaching might help wake up a lot of people.

  51. 51
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Comrade Jake: Boy, did you bury the lede. Sippy Cupp’s partner will be Newton Leroy Leader Of The Civilizing Forces Motherfucking Gingrich.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’m guessing that exactly 0 women were involved in writing that message, which pretty well encapsulates the whole problem.

    This has the fingerprints of Rinse Prebus all over the place. FAIL marketingspeak.

  53. 53
    LanceThruster says:

    I think unless Mittens actually shows his mythical tax returns, there’s been no crime committed.

  54. 54
    RepubAnon says:

    @Roger Moore: The funny thing about BitCoin is that they thought exchanging them electronically meant the government couldn’t trace the spending. After all, everyone knows the NSA doesn’t monitor e-mail…

  55. 55
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Never mind that the geniuses who believe that Bitcoin will replace “fiat currency” haven’t figured out that with a maximum of 21 million coins, it’s going to be awfully hard for billions of people to divvy them up…lol! That and all 21 million Bitcoins will not be available until the year 2145 (or thereabouts).

    But the good news is that with all of the computing power being applied to generating them that they are around 55 years ahead of schedule!

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