Man plotted to bomb Target to buy company's tanked stock

Federal prosecutors say a Florida man planned to blow up several Target stores along the East Coast in an attempt to cheapen stock in the company.

Authorities allege Mark Barnett built at least 10 bombs, paid a man to place them in stores

A newly constructed Target store is seen in a file photo. Authorities say a Florida man plotted to bomb up to 10 stores along the East Coast. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Federal prosecutors say a Florida man planned to blow up several Target stores along the East Coast in an attempt to cheapen stock in the company.

The Orlando Sentinel reports 48-year-old Mark Charles Barnett of Ocala is charged with possession of a firearm (destructive device) affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon. Barnett is a registered sex offender in Florida.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint alleging Barnett built at least 10 explosive devices and paid another man to place the bombs on store shelves. Officials say the other man instead went to authorities.

The complaint says Barnett thought the explosions would cause Target stock prices to drop, allowing him to buy cheap shares in the company before it rebounded.

If convicted, Barnett faces up to 10 years in prison.

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