In 1871, one of Tweed's enemies, New York Sheriff James O'Brien, gained access to the Ring's secret accounts. He took them to the New York Times, which published them. Tweed tried to bribe both Nast and the Times to stop their attacks, but they refused the money. Voters drove Tweed and his cronies in the Ring out of office. Some went to jail, while others fled the country to avoid arrest and prosecution.
Tweed himself was convicted on several charges and sent to prison in 1873. Later he escaped and fled to Cuba and then to Spain, disguised as a sailor. In Spain, a policeman recognized him—from a Thomas Nast cartoon. Tweed was returned to New York, where he died in jail in 1878.