School officials busted for hidden crypto mining operation

Two senior staff members of the Patterson Joint Unified School District, Jeffrey Menge and Eric Drabert, have been charged by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) for operating a hidden cryptocurrency mining operation using school resources and increasing electricity costs.

The DoJ alleges that they purchased high-end graphics cards and used them, along with other school district property and electricity, to mine cryptocurrency. The specific number of schools involved in this operation has not been disclosed, though the district serves approximately 6,200 students across its ten schools. The nature of the cryptocurrency mined in this operation remains undisclosed, but some of the commonly mined cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Monero, Ravencoin, and Dogecoin. The substantial electricity use of the alleged crypto mining operation has drawn attention and concern, as mining a single Bitcoin as a solo miner requires approximately 266,000 kilowatt-hours, equivalent to seven years of continuous electricity consumption at 143 kWh per month