Wednesday, September 05, 2012


There's a simple reason I don't believe this:
A group of hackers claim to be in possession of Mitt and Ann Romney's tax returns after they took them in the night from PriceWaterhouseCoopers' offices in Franklin, Tennessee, according to a release on Pastebin....

They also said they are holding the tax returns for a ransom of $1 million bitcoins, according to another post on Pastebin....
I don't believe it because the first Pastebin post reads in part:
Romney's 1040 tax returns were taken from the PWC office 8/25/2012 by gaining access to the third floor via a gentleman working on the 3rd floor of the building. Once on the 3rd floor, the team moved down the stairs to the 2nd floor and setup shop in an empty office room. During the night, suite 260 was entered, and all available 1040 tax forms for Romney were copied. A package was sent to the PWC on suite 260 with a flash drive containing a copy of the 1040 files, plus copies were sent to the Democratic office in the county and copies were sent to the GOP office in the county at the beginning of the week also containing flash drives with copies of Romney's tax returns before 2010.
If these folks actually copied the forms, I don't believe they'd be referring to them (repeatedly) as just 1040s. We have access to the Romneys' 2010 returns, and the PDF includes a hell of a lot of different forms and schedules beyond the 1040; the whole package runs to 203 pages. If you were stealing this stuff, why would you (physically or electronically) grab just the 1040s? And if you took everything, wouldn't you notice the many pages of 1116s, 3700s, 4797s, 6251s, and so on, and tell the world you had those as well, considering the fact that the other forms and schedules are where all the really interesting stuff would be recorded? Or are the hackers saying that PWC keeps clients' 1040s separate from other forms and schedules? And if so, why the hell would PWC do that?

Am I being too literal-minded? Maybe. But I just don't buy that you'd download this stuff and not know the first thing about what you'd downloaded.


And if anything really did happen, my suspicions fall on the guy who once bugged his own office, Karl Rove.


UPDATE: In comments, marindenver suggests I've got it exactly wrong -- "1040" is precisely what you'd say if you had everything. Hmm, maybe.


BH said...

My 2 bits: if the next thing we hear about is some alleged connection between the "hackers" & the DNC/the O campaign/some other Dem entity or campaign operative, then we can be pretty sure it's Rove burning the Reichstag.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you Steve. As someone who speaks AccountantSpeak fluently, ;-), I can tell you that when a reference is made to a client's 1040 they are referring not just to the 2 pages of the 1040 form but to all of the associated schedules and related forms that back up the numbers reported on the 1040 pages (and frequently forms that are informational only). Tax software programs include all these forms in the client file. So I am assuming (if this story is true) that a) if whoever did that was sufficiently familiar with tax software to pull up the file and convert it to a pdf then he or she is probably a CPA and would just say "his 1040" and b)PWC has massive egg on its face to have let this happen which I find amusing as not a fan of theirs.

And I'm really, really, really hoping the story is true!

Steve M. said...

Interesting. Maybe I'm wrong.

But I'm really, really hoping this story is false. To quote one of BooMan's commenters:

Oh fabulous. Just what we needed.

Actually, just what ROMNEY needed. Now the SOB will be transgressed upon poor sap. Sympathy will be pouring out of the asses of the Right and the KneeJerk Left.

I hope to hell its fake.

Exactly my thoughts.

Victor said...


Mitt's tax returns aren't exactly "The Pentagon Papers."

And, if the DFH's DID steal them, it will reinforce the meme about the left's imagined lawlessness - indicating our rampant Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, Castrotism, Alinkyism, ACORNism, and the New Black Panthersism.


Anonymous said...

My bet:

(1) "Theft" committed by Rove's minions. DFH's blamed.

(2) FAKE tax returns released. Either (a) revealed to be false, not Romney's fault or (b) whatever Romney's trying to hide stays hidden.

(3) People stop riding Romney to release his tax returns.

(4) Romney refuses to discuss his returns because they were stolen, bashes any news organization that reports on them.

(5) I drink heavily.

PurpleGirl said...

Two questions: (1) Why would the Romney returns be in the PWC office in Franklin, Tennessee?

(2) I also wonder about being able to photocopy the returns in the office. In the law offices I've worked in, to use any photocopier you had to have a employee keycard to plug into the machine and then you had to key in a client/matter number. No copying got done if there wasn't a client/matter to charge it to. I'm sure an organization like PWC operates the same way.

Danp said...

Is Pastebin a bulletin board where someone might leave a "ransom note"? Or are these posts some form of amateur journalism?

Steve M. said...

I don't think it's meant to be a journalism site. It describes itself as "a website where you can store text for a certain period of time."

Steve M. said...

I also wonder about being able to photocopy the returns in the office.

They seem to be claiming to have downloaded files, not made photocopies, but I'm not clear on that. They're claiming they hacked the system, so I'm sure they'd claim they hacked passwords in any case.

Anonymous said...

We use the same software as PWC and you can access the returns from any office as they are stored in "the cloud". You can either print the forms to paper or you can convert the file to a pdf then transfer it to a portable device as was apparently done here. Regardless of if it's true or not, whoever posted it does understand the workings of a CPA office.