Man claims anthrax scare was his retirement plan

A transient is scheduled to be arraigned this week on a 10-count indictment charging him with anthrax hoaxes, threatening communications, making a threat against the president and failing to register as a sex offender.

A federal grand jury returned a 10-count indictment charging Timothy Cloud, a transient generally from Roseville and San Francisco, with four counts of hoax mailings, four counts of mailing threatening communications, one count of threatening the President and one count of crossing state lines after failing to register as a sex offender.

In a statement written by Cloud last month for two federal agents, he admitted mailing menacing messages scrawled on 3-by-5 cards, along with talcum powder, from Roseville, California, to President Barack Obama at the White House and to Social Security Administration offices in New York City, Kansas City, Mo., and Baltimore.

“I mailed the those addresses because I hoped people would think it was anthrax," he wrote, reports. "I mailed the letters because I was mad. I knew I would be caught...I do not regret sending the envelopes because that was my retirement plan. Either I was going to get Social Security or I was going to jail."

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 prosecuted the case.

According to court documents, on January 30, 2010, Cloud sent envelopes addressed to Social Security Administration 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.

The indictment alleges that a similar envelope was mailed the same day to the White House 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. The indictment also alleges that Cloud failed to register in California as a sex offender by reason of a conviction in Texas.

Cloud was arrested in San Francisco on April 22.

If convicted, Cloud faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of count of sending the hoax mailings and threats to the President. He faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of sending threatening communications.