Retired Massachusetts state facilities worker wanted for allegedly stealing roughly $18,000 worth of electricity to power underground cryptocurrency mining rig. Nadeem Nahas allegedly installed a crypto-mining rig in the basement of Cohasset High School.
After finding fault with Nahas' previously planned court appearance, the judge reportedly issued an arrest warrant for him. According to the reports, the probe began in December 2021.
Bitcoin Mining Rigs Discovered Below Cohasset High School
Nadeem Nahas worked in the facilities department in Cohasset, Massachusetts, United States. According to accusation (1), between April 28 and December 14, 2021, Nahas stole power worth $17,492.57 to power his cryptocurrency-mining devices.
In December 2021, the local police learned about the operation after the high school's facilities director discovered unusual computers and cabling in the basement. After three months of investigating his tip, investigators found 11 mining computers they believed belonged to Nahas.
It was also reported that Nahas left his employment in the Cohasset central office in March. Meanwhile, the local police had lodged an accusation against him, and he had to appear in court for a hearing. But, when Nahas did not attend his court date, the judge signed a default warrant for his arrest.
If a defendant does not attend a hearing or disobeys a court order, the court may issue a default warrant for their arrest. The individual named in the default warrant is subject to arrest by law enforcement.
The allegations against Nahas are not the first time someone has been accused of using stolen power to operate a crypto-mining rig. Authorities in Malaysia seized and destroyed nearly $1.2 million worth of Bitcoin mining hardware in a crackdown on unlicensed miners in July 2021.
A video of a steamroller crushing 1,069 Bitcoin mining rigs was uploaded to YouTube by a Malaysian news site.
Two guys were arrested in Bulgaria in August 2020 for stealing more than $1.5 million in electricity to power cryptocurrency mining farms. According to a local media site Bulgaria Today report, the two Bulgarians from Sofia channeled the energy to two unlawful crypto rigs for 3-6 months.
Concerns on the Impact of Crypto Mining on the Environment
Regulators are worried about far more than the amount of electricity used by crypto mining. They worry about their impact on the environment due to their consumption habits.
Eight US congressmen reportedly requested details on cryptocurrency mining in a letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the US Energy Department.
Elizabeth Warren, a vocal opponent of cryptocurrencies, was among the politicians who sought information about crypto mining's energy footprint.
In a letter to USEPA administrator Michael Regan & Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm, legislators raised environmental concerns about the explosive rise of cryptocurrency mining in the United States.
They wanted the government to be transparent about what they knew about crypto mining's effect on the environment and the energy consumed. Lawmakers instructed those they wrote to respond by March 6.
One of the legislators that signed the letter was Congressman Jared Huffman. In a tweet, the congressman acknowledged that energy use and pollution generated by bitcoin mining worries them.
Moreover, he mentioned that he and Senator Warren had encouraged the regulators to ensure cryptocurrency miners disclosed their energy use and emissions openly and honestly.