Government employee accused of mining crypto at public’s expense
An information technology operations supervisor at the Suffolk County clerk’s office in New York, Christopher Naples allegedly harnessed his position to place crypto mining equipment in various spots at the Riverhead Center in the New York county in which he worked.
Naples allegedly set up 46 devices for crypto mining, “in locations like an unused electrical wall panel or underneath floorboards,” according to a statement posted on AP News on Wednesday.
Crypto mining can be an expensive endeavor, sometimes requiring specific equipment for the task, as well as hiking up electrical costs wherever the mining apparatuses are set up. Mining equipment can also give off notable amounts of heat, adding to the equation.
According to a quote in the statement from Timothy Sini, a district attorney in Suffolk County: “Mining cryptocurrency requires an enormous amount of resources, and miners have to navigate how to cover all of those electricity and cooling costs.” Sini added that Naples “found a way to do it; unfortunately, it was on the backs of taxpayers.”
The worker’s efforts allegedly racked up $6,000 or more worth of electrical costs burdened on Suffolk County, the statement claimed.
Naples faces a number of legal claims, such as grand larceny, and could receive a sentence of as long as 15 years jail time. The courts released Naples without requiring bail while he awaits further legal proceedings.
During a Wednesday press meeting, as reported in an article from Newsday, Sini said:
"We will not tolerate county employees, who are already on the public payroll, to steal taxpayer money and illegally use government resources for their own personal gain."