A state employee at Florida's Department of Citrus (FDoC) has been arrested for allegedly using official computers to mine cryptocurrencies.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has jailed Matthew McDermott, IT manager for the state government agency that oversees Florida's citrus industry. He is reportedly being held pending trial, with bail set at $5,000.
The FDLE alleges that McDermott used computers in the department to mine cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and litecoin, and has charged him with grand theft and official misconduct, according to the report.
An investigation further indicated that the utility bill of the department had surged by over 40 percent from October 2017 to January 2018, as cryptocurrency mining requires significant amounts of electricity due to its high processing demands.
The FDLE said McDermott had also purchased 24 graphic processing units on the office's account at a cost of around $22,000, according to the report. GPUs are commonly used for cryptocurrency mining given their ability to crunch numbers much faster than standard computer chips.
The news marks the latest instance in the U.S. of official employees being prosecuted for using public resources to mine cryptocurrencies.
Just last week, it was reported that the U.S. state of Louisiana has begun investigating former staffers for using official resources to the mining activity.
Florida state image via Shutterstock
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
Quebec Pushes Hydropower Utility to Halt New Bitcoin Mines
The Canadian province of Quebec has temporarily put a halt to the development of new cryptocurrency mining operations.
The region - known for its cheap hydropower - has been an attractive destinati
Steve Seagal-Backed 'Bitcoiin' ICO Hit with Regulator Warning
The Securities Division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) is warning residents about the Steven Seagal-backed "Bitcoiin" project.
Citing New Jersey's cease-and-desist ord
Ireland's Finance Department Plans Blockchain Working Group
Ireland's Department of Finance has proposed the creation of a new blockchain working group to help create cohesive regulation across government agencies.
Revealed in a new report, titled "Virtual
'Fake News': Russian Official Reportedly Denies Involvement with Petro
The Russian government is pushing back against reports that it helped Venezuela launch its controversial "petro" cryptocurrency.
In public remarks Friday, the deputy director of the Information and
US Government Watchdog: Regulations Are Hobbling DLT Innovation
The complexity of U.S. financial regulations is holding back distributed ledger technology (DLT) startups, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) says.
The GAO's finding, in a report publi
IRS Reminds US Taxpayers to Report Crypto Earnings
The Internal Revenue Service has reminded U.S. taxpayers to include any cryptocurrency income on their annual tax forms.
In a release published Friday, the IRS noted that cryptocurrency transaction
Smart Contracts Now Recognized Under Tennessee Law
The governor of Tennessee has signed a bill that legally recognizes blockchain data under state law.
Governor Bill Haslam signed the measure on Thursday, public records show, capping a months-long
Nevada digs bitcoin, DC loves Obama: Most popular purchases in every state, according to app Earny
Ever wonder what residents in your neighbor states are shopping for? The most popular purchases by state, it turns out, vary greatly. Earny, an app that gets you money back on things you buy based