School Officials Face DOJ Charges for Crypto Mining

The Department of Justice in the United States has accused two high-ranking individuals from the Patterson Joint Unified School District of running a cryptocurrency mining operation within the district’s ten schools. 

The charges allege that Jeffrey Menge, the assistant superintendent and chief business officer, collaborated with Eric Drabert, the IT director, to use school resources for crypto mining, resulting in increased electricity costs. 

The DOJ contends that the duo operated a crypto mining farm and subsequently moved the generated cryptocurrency into their wallets.

The statement lacked details regarding the specific number of schools involved in the crypto mining operation within the district, which encompasses 10 schools catering to approximately 6,200 students. Additionally, it did not specify the type of cryptocurrency being mined.

Some commonly mined cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin (BTC), currently valued at $43,096, Monero (XMR) at $169, Ravencoin (RVN), and Dogecoin (DOGE) at $0.08.

Solo mining a Bitcoin consumes around 266,000 kilowatt-hours, taking about seven years with a monthly electricity usage of 143 kWh, as per the latest CoinGecko data.

School Officials Face DOJ Charges for Crypto Mining

Image Source: Bitcoin Mining (Household appliances vs. Bitcoin mining electricity consumption)

The Department of Justice has accused Menge of embezzling an estimated $1 million to $1.5 million, while Drabert is alleged to have stolen between $250,000 and $300,000. These allegations surfaced in the wake of the U.S. energy regulator’s recent efforts to curb crypto miners, aiming to reduce energy wastage in the country.

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2024-02-03 13:08