Department of Citrus, Florida, saw an employee get arrested for mining cryptos at work, using the department's computers. According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agents, the government employee, head of IT in the department, is said to have mined BTC, LTC, and several other cryptos. Florida’s Department of Citurs is a state agency in charge of regulating and marketing the citrus industry
The charges filed against Matthew McDermott by the FDLE, include mining cryptos with FDoC’s computers. Also, McDermott is being accused of purchasing 24 graphic processing units (GPU) worth $22,000 with the department's credit card. Although not as fast as ASIC chips, GPUs are common with crypto miners as their computing power is faster than the processors found on the average computer.
Not only that, it was discovered that he was responsible for a 41% increase in utility bills, as crypto mining is highly power intensive. McDermott had tethered “multiple computers at the Department of Citrus” to a mining pool.
According to the FDLE:
“The IG noted that utility bills for the agency had increased by 41% between October 2017 and January 2017 — the increase amounted to nearly $825.00.”
McDermott is being held at the Polk County Jail under charges of grand theft and misconduct. His bail has been set at $5,000. He is expected to appear before the 10th Judicial Circuit to answer the mining allegations.
During the arrest, FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said:
“Through the diligence of the executive management team at the Florida Department of Citrus, our agency was able to minimize losses to the state.”
Swearingen also expressed gratitude to the Citrus agency’s quick and appropriate action, that greatly helped in investigating and arresting Matthew McDermott. Already, states like New York and Louisiana have had their share of government employees illegally mining cryptos with agency's computers.
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