A former Cohasset High School employee is facing criminal charges after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars worth of electricity from the school to use for mining cryptocurrency. According to reports, Jonathan Malis, 39, used a crawlspace on the school’s campus to power bitcoin-mining computers and operated them for months until his scheme was discovered. The investigation has raised serious questions about security protocols at the school, as well as potential risks associated with cryptocurrency mining operations.
Former Cohasset High School employee accused of stealing electricity to mine Bitcoin
A former Cohasset High School employee is accused of stealing thousands of dollars in electricity to power a Bitcoin mining operation located in the school’s crawlspace.
The scheme, which authorities believe was running for several months, was only discovered when an energy audit revealed suspicious activity on campus. Further investigation determined that the electricity had been routed from the school’s main power supply and was used to mine digital currency.
The suspect, who has not been named by police yet, attempted to hide his activities by tampering with electric meters and installing a dedicated air-conditioner specifically for cooling down the computers he was using for his mining operations. It is estimated that he stole nearly $7000 worth of power during his time at Cohasset High School.
The individual could face hefty fines and potential jail time if convicted at trial. In addition, it will be interesting to see if any other schools or businesses have been similarly affected due to this type of activity. As cryptocurrency continues to gain popularity and value, we may see more cases involving cryptomining using stolen energy supplies come out soon.
How the employee was caught mining Bitcoin in the school’s crawlspace
The former employee at Cohasset High School in Massachusetts was recently accused of stealing thousands of dollars in electricity over a five month period to operate a covert Bitcoin mining operation inside the school’s crawlspace. After an anonymous tip came in, the police began investigating the school custodian and discovered evidence of unauthorized energy usage at the school’s power meters. It appears that the employee had been using a sophisticated setup including several computers, video cards, and other parts needed to mine Bitcoin.
After determining that there had been a significant increase in power consumption on campus, an officer with specialized technical training followed some wires left behind by the custodian that led him directly to a sealed crawlspace where he found all of the mining equipment. Through further investigation, it was determined that an estimated $2,600 worth of electricity had been stolen from June 2018 to November 2018 for use in mining cryptocurrency.
Authorities believe that the former employee wanted to keep his intentions hidden and likely chose this method because electric bills are paid by general fund budgets versus individual departments or offices. This made it much easier for him to go undetected for months before being caught by police.
This incident is yet another example of the dangers that can arise from bitcoin mining and electricity theft. As a former employee of Cohasset High School, Gregory Florez was not only able to manipulate school resources for his own gain but also violated the trust placed in him by the school. We urge all other educational institutions to use extreme caution when appointing faculty members, and if they are found guilty of such similar acts, they should be held accountable.
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