US authorities have arrested Nadeem Nahas, a former state facility employee in Massachusetts, for reportedly stealing almost $18,000 worth of power to operate an illicit crypto-mining venture. Per sources, Nahas covertly established the crypto-mining facility in the crawl space of Cohasset High School.
Court Issues Arrest Warrant For Nahas
Nahas reportedly missed his scheduled court appearance, prompting the judge to issue an arrest warrant. Meanwhile, authorities have been investigating the case since December 2021.
According to court documents, Nahas operated his crypto-mining computers from April 28th, 2021, to December 14th, 2021. In December 2021, local police received a tip-off about the operation when the facilities director of the high school noticed unusual computers.
The director notified the authorities, who conducted a three-month investigation and allegedly found 11 mining computers belonging to Nahas. According to reports, Nahas left his teaching job in March.
Meanwhile, the local police filed a complaint against him, and he was scheduled to appear for a court hearing. However, when Nahas failed to show up in court, the judge issued an arrest warrant.
Courts frequently issue default warrants when an individual fails to attend a hearing or comply with a court order. Such a warrant grants law enforcement officers the authority to apprehend the defaulter.
Meanwhile, Nahas is not the only person to be charged with operating a cryptocurrency mining operation using stolen electricity. In 2021, the Malaysian police cracked down on several illicit BTC miners, confiscating and demolishing Bitcoin mining equipment worth over $1.2 million.
In addition, two men were arrested by Bulgarian law enforcement agents in August 2020 for allegedly stealing more than $1.5 million worth of power to operate cryptocurrency mining farms. According to Bulgaria Today, a local news outlet, the two Bulgarians powered two illicit crypto-mining farms for three to six months.
US Lawmakers Call For Full Disclosure
Meanwhile, lawmakers have expressed concerns about the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining, not just the quantity of electricity used. In a recent development, eight US lawmakers addressed a letter to the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) seeking information on the carbon footprint of crypto mining.
The lawmakers expressed environmental concerns over the rapid expansion of crypto mining in the US. The lawmakers called for the Department to make a comprehensive and mandatory disclosure of the data collected on the energy usage of crypto mining and its impact on the environment.
They set a deadline of March 6th for the agencies to respond to the letter. In a tweet, Rep Jared Huffman, one of the lawmakers who endorsed the letter, expressed concerns about the energy consumption and pollution associated with cryptocurrency mining.
He said that the letter is asking the officials of these departments to ensure that crypto miners provide transparent disclosure of their energy usage and emissions.
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