- Two staff members of the Patterson Joint Unified School District have been charged for illegal crypto mining.
- Both staff members allegedly utilized the school’s resources, including running up electric power.
- The DoJ alleged the staff members used high-end graphics cards and other school district property to operate a crypto mining farm.
Two staff members of the Patterson Joint Unified School District have been charged for an alleged crypto-mining operation on the premises of the district’s ten schools. According to reports, both staff members allegedly utilized the school’s resources, including running up electric power.
In a recent charge, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) accused Jeffrey Menge, assistant superintendent, and chief business officer of Patterson Joint Unified School District, and Eric Drabert, IT director for the school district, of jointly operating a crypto farm using the school’s facility. The DoJ also included that they transferred all the mined cryptocurrency into their wallets.
According to the DoJ’s statement, Menge and Drabert purchased high-end graphics cards and used those cards, together with other school district property and electricity, to operate a cryptocurrency “mining” farm at the school district. Although the district comprises 10 schools, the DoJ’s statement did not clarify how many of the premises the accused used to carry out their crypto-mining operations. It did not also disclose the particular cryptocurrency they mined.
The charge by the DoJ comes after the U.S. government initiated a crackdown on crypto miners as part of efforts to decrease energy waste. On February 1, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) instructed crypto miners to start reporting their energy consumption for the next six months. This move by the DOE follows a surge in Bitcoin miners, following the recent increase in BTC’s price.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted that from next week it would start releasing a survey to measure the electricity usage of local crypto mining companies. Miners are expected to respond with details related to their energy usage during this exercise.
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