Teachers at Puman Middle school in Chenzou, Hunan Province constituted a disturbance when they were caught stealing energy to mine Ethereum on school property.
For several months the operation went on and did not go entirely unnoticed, as people complained that the school computers were making an awful lot of noise.
The mining operation had a negative impact on the school as it bogged down the school network, making it cumbersome for the school teachers to do their jobs. The teachers decided to look for the problem and uncovered the mining rigs.
The principal and vice principal were accomplices as they had moved the operation to the school because their electricity bills were getting too high. As consequences for their actions, the principal Lei Hua lost his job and Vice principal Wang Zhipeng was let off with a warning.
The disgraced Principal went into details about how the machines got placed in the school. On his first rig he explained that he spent over 10,000 yuan and quickly realized it was using too much energy, so he moved it into the school’s dormitory. Later he spent another 40,000 yuan purchasing seven more research rigs and found that these would not fit in the dorm, so he moved them into the school proper.
The mining operation had incurred more than 14,000 yuan in total, which was extra electricity bills for the school.
Not the first employees to steal Energy for Crypto Mining
The school’s principal and vice principal were far from the only public servants in the world ever to use public resources for the private pursuit of cryptocurrency.
Some years back between 2012 and 2014, an employee of the Federal Reserve was once caught mining Bitcoin for years on government servers.
He paid a fine of $5,000 and caught 12 months probation. An administrator with the New York Department of Education got away with it for far less time, mining only at night in 2014. His fine was more interesting because he was a union employee, four vacation days worth about $600.
Florida’s Department of Citrus had the same problem with its IT manager, who got caught when the agency called for an investigation into its unusually high utility bills.
In Louisiana, six people got fired for committing the same problem. Asides from employees, a man in China was arrested for tampering with his power meter and effective stealing energy to power at least 200 mining rigs.