In case you’ve forgotten, the date the hackers who allegedly stole Mitt Romney’s tax records gave to release them to the public unless they received a million-dollar ransom is coming up tomorrow, September 28.
It’s been widely assumed that Mitt refuses to release the returns because there’s something in there he’s trying to hide. So what’s the story? Are these hackers about to unleash holy hell on the Romney campaign? Will tomorrow be a game-changer in the election?
Well, the last we heard from the hackers was a September 8 update that indicated a million-dollar payout requested from the Romney camp to destroy the files had not been received. “We have received quite a bit of Bitcoins on either side,” the group said on Pastebin, referring to two different anonymous payment accounts they’d created—one to release the records and one to destroy them. The group claimed whichever reached a million dollars first would dictate the fate of the records. If neither reached a million, they promised to release them on September 28. “The option to release information publicly is in the lead,” they said on September 8. “It seems that we have become of great interest to the media and due to a few security issues we have updated the BTC wallet addresses. Time is running out.”
PriceWaterhouseCooper said they saw no evidence they’d been breached, but that of course doesn’t mean anything. If the tax records aren’t released tomorrow, we’ll have no definitive way of knowing whether the hackers were bluffing the whole time or whether they’d received the million dollar ransom before the deadline.
Either way, Bloomberg recently uncovered something Romney might have been wanting to hide:
Turns out his $250 million worth as stated by the campaign actually doesn’t include a cleverly tax-free trust he set up for his kids worth at least another $100 million.
A particular type of trust hilariously nicknamed an “I Dig It” trust after its acronym IDGT, it allowed Romney to grant his kids a large amount of stock in DoubleClick shortly before it went public, and then sell the stock after Google bought the company for $3.2 billion without his kids paying any tax at all. Exactly how much the $100M trust generates Bloomberg describes as being almost impossible to discern through public record.
After all the talk about how those who avoid paying taxes are “dependent” on government and believe they are “victims,” this can’t look good for Romney’s image.
We may learn more tomorrow. Stay tuned!