Pumpkin Extortion Attempt Squashed

The Daily Mail reports (archive) a 53 year old ex-soldier has been jailed after he attempted to blackmail an elderly pumpkin farmer into paying him £50,0001 in bitcoin. Fearing for his livelihood, farmer David Bowman reported the threat to police and was then instructed by the UK's Foods Standards Agency to plough the field of concern, resulting in the loss of £120,0002 of stock.

In his attempt to convince the pumpkin farmer to pay the bitcoin ransom, Michael Young included photographs of the pumpkins being injected by what is now known to have been water. In his letter of demand, Young told the farmer:

"You will go down in history as the farmer who introduced potassium cyanide into the UK food chain."

In an attempt to deter other would be extortionists, Judge Michael Heath sentenced Young to a period of eight years prison.


  1. Approximately $75,000 USD. 

  2. Approximately $182,000 USD. 

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