A former town employee in Massachusetts is accused of allegedly establishing a hidden bitcoin mining business in a secluded crawl space at a school, WCVB reports.
Nadeem Nahas, 39, was due to be arraigned Thursday on charges of fraudulent electricity use and destruction of property to a school. Still, he did not appear, and a judge issued a default warrant after rejecting a defense motion to reschedule, according to a spokesperson for the Norfolk district attorney’s office.
Police were called to Cohasset Middle/High School in December 2021 after the town’s facilities director found electrical wires, temporary duct work, and numerous computers that emerged out of place during a routine inspection, according to Cohasset Police Department Chief William Quigley in a statement Wednesday.
According to Quigley, he informed the town’s IT director, who concluded it was a bitcoin mining operation illegally connected to the school’s electrical infrastructure.
The Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Department of Homeland Security assisted in removing and inspecting the equipment in a secure environment.
The process of validating bitcoin transactions and producing new cryptocurrency, known as crypto mining, takes enormous electricity.
After a three-month investigation, Nahas, the town’s assistant facilities director, was identified as a suspect. A criminal complaint was lodged during a show-cause hearing. Nahas subsequently resigned from his position with the town in early 2022, according to police.