Anthrax-Hoax Defendant Pleads Guilty

 Department of Justice
United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Monday, May 17, 2010
PHONE: (916) 554-2706
Docket #: 10-cr-167-WBS


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Timothy Cloud, 62, a transient, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge William B. Shubb to sending anthrax-hoax letters, threatening President Obama, and failing to register as a sex offender.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Secret Service, the Postal Inspection Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Stegman is prosecuting the case.

According to the plea agreement, Cloud admitted that he sent hoax mailings addressed to Social Security Administration (SSA) offices in New York, Kansas City, Mo., and Baltimore. Each contained a white powdery substance and an index card with the words “you stole my money” and “die.” Police, fire, and hazardous material teams responded to emergency calls at each location, and employees had to be quarantined and affected areas decontaminated.

Cloud also admitted to making threats against the president. The letter to President Obama contained a white powder to simulate anthrax, and an index card with the words, “You are just another lying politision,” [sic] with cross hairs between “not this time” and “maybe next time,” and a newspaper photo of President Obama with cross hairs hand drawn over his face.

Cloud also admitted that, by virtue of a conviction in Texas, he was required to register as a sex offender in California and that he did not do so.
Cloud is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Shubb on August 2, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for sending hoax mailings and making threats to the President. For failing to register as a sex offender, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.