PricewaterhouseCoopers Denies Anonymous Hackers Have Mitt Romney Tax Returns

PricewaterhouseCoopers denies its computers were hacked.

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PricewaterhouseCoopers told Whispers Wednesday that it has no evidence an anonymous group hacked its computer systems and stole GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax returns.

The hacking claim popped up earlier in the day on Pastebin, a website favored by the so-called hacktivist collective Anonymous, and was reported first by the Nashville City Paper.

The unidentified group said it had gained access to PricewaterhousecCoopers's Franklin, Tenn., office and copied the tax documents of Romney and his wife Ann. The group also threatened interested parties, saying that if they do not want the tax documents released, the parties will pay a ransom of $1 million in Bitcoins, a digital currency that can be encrypted.

Reddit, the Atlantic Wire, and others were immediately skeptical of the hacking claim, and said there was no evidence this anonymous group was connected to the larger (capital "A") Anonymous hacking collective.

And PricewaterhouseCoopers has now thrown water on the entire incident, telling Whispers in a statement:

"We are aware of the allegations that have been made regarding improper access to our systems. We are working closely with the United States Secret Service, and at this time there is no evidence that our systems have been compromised or that there was any unauthorized access to the data in question."

PwC did, however, prepare Romney's 2010 return.

Romney's tax returns have been a source of public speculation for months, as the former Massachusetts governor has refused to release his tax returns before 2010. Democrats say Romney is trying to hide his wealth and possibly tax schemes.

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at eflock@usnews.com or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.