USA Today writer Danny SheridanDanny Sheridan is a sports and gambling odds writer for USA Today. He has almost 400,000 followers on Twitter. He was recently accused of buying many of them.

Via sports blog Deadspin:

For the last month, he has been picking up thousands and thousands of followers a day. Between June 6 and June 10, according to TwitterCounter, Sheridan picked up exactly—exactly—27,791 followers each day; for the next 10 days, he received exactly 12,085 followers per day.

If you’re wondering why anyone would pay for followers, here’s the answer: Some Internet people think it’s cool to have a lot of followers, without realizing there’s a difference between real-life followers (people who care what you do) and Twitter followers (people who think you say funny things online).

Sheridan, who is 65 years old, has responded to the accusation that he’s paying for Twitter followers with a cool head:

“the people responsible for this (claiming I’ve bought twiter names) appear to run criminal outfits … I intend to contact the DOJ about them, & my guess is they will then crawl under the rock they’ve always been. I’ve not broken any laws, let’s see if they can say the same thing if and when the DOJ contacts them.”

…Because the Eric Holder has nothing else to do but investigate Twitter fraud. Maybe Sheridan is kidding.

The Honorable Newt Gingrich, who has more than 1 million followers on Twitter, was accused of the same thing last year.

[Deadspin, Romenesko]