In an elaborate plot to diminish the value of Target Corporation’s stock prices, federal agents say an Ocala, Florida, man, 48-year-old Mark Charles Barnett tried to hide explosive devices in at least ten East Coast Target Stores.
“Barnett theorized that the company’s stock value would plunge after the explosions, allowing him to cheaply acquire shares of Target stock before an eventual rebound in prices,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida stated.
Barnett’s scheme was foiled when the man he hired to hide the bombs within amongst food items on store shelves instead turned out to be an informant who turned him into the authorities.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, “On Feb. 9, Barnett gave the man at least 10 explosives, a bag of gloves, a mask and a license-plate cover, which would be used to cover up the man’s identity, prosecutors said,” adding that Barnett paid the man $10,000. “But before the plan moved forward, the man went to the authorities and gave them the bombs and explained Barnett’s plan, federal agents said.”
It was reported that bomb-making materials were found in his home.
Barnett, a registered sex offender and convicted felon, faces several charges, including possession of a firearm, or destructive device, affecting commerce by a felon. He could serve up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
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