Alleged bomb threats aimed at pumping up 3Com stock

Investor has brain explosion, Feds swoop

An Iowa man was arrested this week for sending unarmed explosives and menacing letters to investment firms, with threats of actual violence if the firms did not act to raise 3Com's stock price.

Using the signature "The Bishop," John P. Tomkins, a 42-year-old machinist from Dubuque, is accused of sending threats and the unarmed explosives to investment firms, including American Century Investment Management in Kansas City and Chicago-based Perkins, Wolf, McDonnell and Co., which advises Denver-based Janus Capital. One letter stated: "I need for you to start buying stock in 3Com Corporation (COMS). You have until October 31 to get the price to 6.66. ... it MUST be done by then. NO EXCUSES."

Tomkins allegedly also sent threats to Navarre, a maker of digital home entertainment hardware and software. He allegedly also sent threats to investment firms with demands to take action against Navarre's stock. Authorities identified Tomkins in part through U.S. Security and Exchange Commission documents that showed he was among the few individual investors in both 3Com and Navarre who might benefit from the demands that were made.

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