A man may end up behind bars for 15 years after he was allegedly caught mining Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies inside the county center in Riverhead, New York.
The Associated Press reports that Christopher Naples, an IT operations supervisor at the county clerk’s office, is facing charges for public corruption, grand larceny, and computer trespass for secretly installing 46 crypto miners inside the government building.
The 42-year-old, an employee of the county for over two decades, allegedly placed the devices in six rooms, hiding them in locations like unused electrical wall panels and underneath floorboards. Authorities say that some of the machines had been in place since February.
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini says that Naples’ scheme cost the public coffers at least $6,000 in electricity bills.
“Mining cryptocurrency requires an enormous amount of resources, and miners have to navigate how to cover all of those electricity and cooling costs. [Naples] found a way to do it; unfortunately, it was on the backs of taxpayers.”
Sini also says that Naples had placed so many miners inside the building that several employees were complaining about the slow internet speed, and when miners were removed from one room, the temperature dropped by more than 20 degrees.
“Not only do we have thousands of dollars of taxpayer money funding this operation, but it also put the county’s infrastructure at risk.”
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