A Tennessee man has taken to both the media and the Internet to deny allegations he hacked the tax returns of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
According to The Tennessean, Michael Brown, a wireless Internet service operator and web designer, has gone public with allegations that the Secret Service wrongfully executed a search warrant on his home in Franklin, Tennessee in September.
"Because my wife was wearing her night clothes, the agents removed her from our bedroom and searched her person," Brown said on a webpage he set up seeking financial help following the incident. "We were unable to comfort our ten-year old daughter whom we could hear in another room or tend to our eight-month old daughter; both children being awakened by strangers entering their dark rooms."
The warrant was part of an investigation into an attempt to illegally access Romney's undisclosed tax returns, which are held by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. An unnamed group of hackers claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was holding the files for a $1 million ransom, but the firm denied any theft took place.
Brown said the agency has "profiled" him, based in part on repeated questioning of him three years ago in connection with the alleged theft of thousands of Social Security numbers held by an insurance company. Brown was never charged with anything, but he said, but authorities met with him four times, and he agreed to take a polygraph test.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office in Nashville refused to comment on whether Brown will be charged following the search.
"We've taken the unusual step of confirming an investigation by the Secret Service," David Boling told the newspaper. "The matter is under investigation, so there's nothing really we could say."
[Image via Agence France-Presse]