A former facilities worker who allegedly set up a secret cryptocurrency mining operation inside a Massachusetts school’s crawl space is due for arrest after missing a scheduled court hearing to answer to charges.
Nadeam Nahas was scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 23 facing charges of vandalizing a school and fraudulent use of electricity, according to media reports.
JUST IN: an ex-town employee is accused of running a "Cryptocurrency mining operation" out of Cohasset High School. pic.twitter.com/cdBlMIxnnH— whalechart (@WhaleChart) February 24, 2023
A default warrant is a type if warrant issued by courts when a person fails to appear in court or comply with an order, and authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest the person.
Nahas, who is said to have previously worked in the facilities department for the town of Cohasset, Massachusetts, United States, is alleged to have stolen electricity worth almost $18,000 in order to power his crypto mining operation in 2021, between April 28 and Dec. 14.
Court documents show the town calculated Nahas - of Norwell (he worked for the town of Cohasset in the facilities dept) allegedly stole $17,492.57 worth electricity as the computers did their work 24/7 near the boiler room in the basement. It was discovered 12-14-21.— Jonathan Hall (@JHall7news) February 23, 2023
Local police were reportedly initially informed about the operation in December 2021 after Cohasset’s facilities director noticed computers, wiring and ductwork that seemed out of place given they were in a crawl space near the school’s boiler room.
A total of 11 computers were found there, and Nahas was identified as a suspect after a three-month investigation.
Nahas resigned from his position with the town of Cohasset in March.
Related: The economics of cryptocurrency mining: Costs, revenues and market trends
It is certainly not the first time someone has been charged with stealing electricity in order to mine cryptocurrency.
In July 2021, Malaysian officials destroyed $1.2 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) mining rigs that were confiscated from residents who were stealing electricity to mine.
A year prior, in August 2020, Bulgarian authorities arrested two men for illegally siphoning off more than $1.5 million in electricity to operate two crypto mining farms.