School Officials Face Crypto Mining-Related Charges
On Friday, the US Justice Department charged two officials from the Patterson Joint Unified School District for setting up crypto mining operations in ten schools, using the learning institutions’ resources and causing their electricity costs to surge.
According to the Justice Department’s statement, Patterson Joint Unified School District’s Chief Business Officer Jeffrey Menge and IT Director Eric Drabert collaborated to operate a cryptocurrency mining farm in the ten schools and pocketed the realized profits. The statement indicated that those schools had over 6,000 students in total.
The Justice Department didn’t disclose which cryptocurrencies that the duo mined. But there is a high likelihood that they mined any of the following coins: Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Monero, and Ravencoin. Mining these cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, requires an enormous amount of energy.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has accused Drabert and Menge of committing another crime. The US prosecutors claim that Menge and Drabert stole from the Patterson Joint Unified School District $1.2 million and $300,000, respectively.
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US Crackdown on Crypto Miners
The duo is facing charges related to crypto mining at a time when the United States energy regulator is cracking down on cryptocurrency miners in a bid to reduce energy waste in the country.
On February 1st, the US Department of Energy announced that all miners must submit their energy consumption report every month for the next six months. The regulator’s move follows rising concerns over the increase in cryptocurrency mining activities in recent months.
On January 31st, the United States Energy Information Administration said it plans to release a survey to gauge the energy usage of American crypto mining firms starting this week. The move will require miners to “respond with specific details in regard to their electricity use.”
Indonesian Authorities Go After Crypto Miners
Concerns over intensive electricity use in the mining industry are not only in the United States but also other countries. Last December, Indonesian authorities ordered over ten crypto mining firms to close shop for using massive energy. Moreover, some of those crypto miners were accused of stealing electricity, totaling over $1 million.
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