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Former Cohasset High School Employee Accused of Stealing Thousands in Electricity to Mine Bitcoin in School Campus Crawlspace

source-logo  news.bitcoin.com 23 February 2023 18:28, UTC

A former school assistant facilities director in Cohasset, Massachusetts, has been accused of operating a cryptocurrency mining operation inside a crawlspace at Cohasset High School. The Cohasset Police Department alleges that Nadeam Nahas stole nearly $18,000 in electricity to power the crypto mining scheme.

Former Cohasset School Employee Faces Charges for Electricity Theft in School Crawlspace Crypto Mine

A report published by Boston’s WCVB network alleges that Nadeam Nahas, a former school employee in Cohasset, Massachusetts, stole electricity from the district to mine cryptocurrency. Nahas is accused of setting up the operation at Cohasset High School’s crawlspace, where multiple computers, ventilation devices, and connected wiring were found.

Photograph of the ASIC miners confiscated by the Cohasset Police Department.

Photographs taken by the Cohasset Police Department show that the mining devices appear to be application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining rigs, possibly used for mining bitcoin. Police accuse Nahas of secretly mining cryptocurrency for eight months on the school’s campus, and the town’s IT director discovered the operation was a crypto mine.

Investigators, Cohasset police, and members of the Department of Homeland Security were involved in the case and removed the miners from the high school’s crawlspace. The investigation lasted three months, and investigators estimate that approximately $17,492 in electricity was stolen.

Nahas is one of many individuals accused of stealing electricity to power cryptocurrency mining operations over the years. For example, in 2021, Malaysia seized 1,720 bitcoin mining machines during an electricity theft crackdown.

Law enforcement officials in Malaysia revealed last year that they had arrested more than 600 people for stealing electricity to mine cryptocurrency in the previous two years. In 2020, a kennel owner in China was arrested for stealing power to run a bitcoin mining farm.

In Rotterdam, Netherlands, two brothers were arrested in 2016 for stealing electricity to mine bitcoin and grow cannabis. WCVB reporter William Bennett reports that Nahas is facing charges of school vandalism and fraudulent use of electrical resources.

Nahas is scheduled to appear in Quincy District Court for arraignment on Feb. 23, 2023. According to Bennett, when reached by phone, the accused former Cohasset school employee declined to comment on the matter.