Nashville, Tenn. • A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions of a Tennessee man engaged in an extortion scheme where he claimed to have the tax returns of then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney and threatened to release them if he wasn't paid.
It was an elaborate plot where Michael Mancil Brown sent letters signed "Dr. Evil" that falsely claimed that he had hacked into PriceWaterhouseCoopers accounting firm and would make the tax returns public if the company didn't send him $1 million in Bitcoin, a digital currency.
On Monday, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 38-year-old's 12 convictions for wire fraud and extortion. However, the court vacated his four-year prison term and ordered him re-sentenced because the punishment was wrongfully enhanced. Brown's lawyer declined to comment.