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US DOJ Charges Two School Staff Members for Illegal Crypto Mining

Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged school district staff for setting up a cryptocurrency mining rig. Authorities cited ongoing energy regulatory scrutiny as the reason for adding the lawsuit.

As per the news, the Patterson Joint Unified School District administration has allowed businesses to operate a cryptocurrency mining rig on the location. The place was reserved for 10 district schools. The law enforcement agents have noted that the staff also utilized school resources and added the electricity bill to the school bill records.

DOJ officials have issued a claim on this account naming chief business officer and assistant superintendent Jaffrey Mange and IT director Eric Drabert for colluding to operate an illegal crypto mining unit at the location and taking the profits.

The investigation report on the matter also indicates that the operators utilized the equipment purchases for the mining rig with the school district property and power supply.


Illegal Crypto Mining Operators Charged with Theft of Money

The authorities have noted that the premise is reserved for 10 district schools that serve 6200 pupils. DOJ has also claimed that one of the accused stole $1 million- $1.5 million and the other siphoned $250k-$300K.

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The energy regulatory agency of the USA has recently launched action against cryptocurrency miners as part of a plan to decrease the total energy intake of the region. On 1st February, the Department of Energy (DOE) notified miners that they have to report total energy utility for the next 6 months.

The DOE issued the new guidelines after a recent surge in Bitcoin prices that has automatically added to the activity of mining firms. Energy Information Administration (EIA) also issued a notification about releasing a survey to measure the total amount of electricity consumption among mining firms.

The notification will go into effect from next week. Meanwhile, miners are also directed to provide detailed reports about total energy usage.

New Report Suggests that Bitcoin Mining Promotes Sustainable Energy

Following the rise of Bitcoin prices since the beginning of the ongoing year, some government officials have talked about rising energy consumption. As per a report published by the University of Cambridge global energy consumption of Bitcoin was recorded at 147.3 terawatt-hours per second on a yearly basis on 19th January, 2024.

The report noted that the energy utilization was equivalent to the total yearly energy utility of nations such as Poland, Malaysia, and Ukraine.

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Shifting of Bitcoin Mining to Sustainable Energy Sources

However, another report by Bitcoin ESG forecast indicates that aggregate Bitcoin mining energy sources have shifted 54.5% to sustainable sources. Another survey conducted by Cornell University has noted that Bitcoin mining firms are based on locations that reduce negative environmental impact.

As per this report, miners save costs with this strategy and redirect the revenue to funding renewable energy sources. A report published by ACS publications in October 2023 notes that the additional power generated by Bitcoin mining’s renewable projects produces hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues.

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Hassan Mehmood (Saudi Arabia)

Hassan is currently working as a news reporter for Tokenhell. He is a professional content writer with 2 years of experience. He has a degree in journalism.

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