8 mins ago |
By Jamie Redman – |
Florida State Citrus Employee Arrested for Mining Cryptocurrencies
This week a government employee working for Florida’s Department of Citrus (FDoC) was arrested for purported cryptocurrency mining using the department’s computers. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agents, the IT manager mined BTC, LTC, and other digital currencies.
Mining Cryptocurrency Using Government Computers
The FDLE has filed charges against an IT manager named Matthew McDermott who is accused of mining cryptocurrencies using the FDoC’s computer system. Additionally, the police say McDermott paid $22,000 USD for 24 graphic processing units (GPU) using the Citrus agency’s credit card as well. The FDLE reveals that McDermott was taken to Polk County Jail and is being charged with grand theft and misconduct. McDermott will appear before the 10th Judicial Circuit for the mining allegations.
“Through the diligence of the executive management team at the Florida Department of Citrus, our agency was able to minimize losses to the state,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen detailed during the arrest.
Thanks to the Citrus agency’s quick and appropriate action, we were able to investigate and arrest Matthew McDermott.
Utility Bills Increase by 41%
Besides purchasing GPUs with a government credit card, FDLE agents discovered that McDermott had “multiple computers at the Department of Citrus” tethered to a mining pool. Moreover, police said that the Citrus agency’s electric bills had spiked last year.
“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,” says the FDLE.
The news follows other government employees and IT staffers accused of mining cryptocurrencies in states like Louisiana, New York, and other regions. McDermott’s bail is set at $5,000 for the alleged crimes.