- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A New Mexico man sent dozens of threatening letters in an anthrax hoax to Chase Bank and government agencies as revenge for money he said he lost in the stock market because of the current financial crisis, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Richard Leon Goyette, 47, was arrested Monday on charges of sending 65 threatening letters, 64 of which contained a white powder that was later determined to be nonhazardous. Mr. Goyette is scheduled to appear later Tuesday in federal court in New Mexico.

According to prosecutors, Mr. Goyette said his stock in Washington Mutual lost $63,525 in value in September when the failing bank was seized by the Office of Thrift Supervision and put into the receivership of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The government quickly sold the bank to JP Morgan Chase; at the time, Washington Mutual stock was worth less than a dollar per share.

In an e-mail to the Office of Thrift Supervision a few days later, prosecutors say, Mr. Goyette wrote: “This seizure was the final straw and I will now pursue any path to get the return of my investment.”

“I have pursued a path of doing things right, but unfortunately I’ve paid a terrible price for those who will do whatever it takes to defraud, steal, manipulate, and screw over average stockholders,” Mr. Goyette is accused of writing in the e-mail.

“Since legal means are apparently useless, I will have to consider any viable method applicable to rightfully reclaim my stolen funds.”

Authorities say Mr. Goyette sent similar threatening e-mails to the FDIC and the lawyer hired to handle investor inquiries for Washington Mutual.

Beginning Oct. 20, prosecutors say, anonymous letters began arriving at the firms throughout the country.

The first 64 letters contained white powder and the sentence fragment, “steal tens of thousands of people’s money and not expect repercussions,” prosecutors said.

The final letter did not include powder, but did include the threat of “McVeighing of your corporate headquarters within six months,” prosecutors said. “McVeighing” is apparently a reference to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Prosecutors said the final letter also threatened to “utilize any strategy and tactic to inflict financial damage to your company.”

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