U.S. authorities charge school staff over illegal crypto mining operation

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The US Division of Justice has filed prices towards two senior workers members of New Jersey’s Patterson Joint Unified College District for allegedly operating a crypto mining farm. 

In a current statement, The U.S. Division of Justice (DOJ) asserted that former Assistant Superintendent and Chief Enterprise Officer of Patterson Joint Unified College District, Jeffrey Menge, orchestrated embezzlement schemes alongside the varsity district’s IT Director, Eric Drabert, from 2018 to 2022.

Drabert collaborated in operating a crypto mining farm, utilizing college district property and electrical energy. The mined cryptocurrency, between $1 million and $1.5 million, was transferred to their private wallets.

Nevertheless, the assertion didn’t specify the variety of colleges throughout the district concerned within the crypto mining operation, regardless of the district encompassing 10 colleges catering to roughly 6,200 college students.

In line with the court docket submitting, the duo was additionally concerned in further theft strategies and utilized Menge’s managed Nevada firm, CenCal Tech LLC, to conduct fraudulent transactions exceeding $1.2 million, involving double billing and billing for undelivered objects.

Menge’s embezzlement allegedly totaled between $1 million and $1.5 million, whereas Drabert’s theft amounted to $250,000 to $300,000. These ill-gotten positive aspects funded house renovations, buying luxurious automobiles, together with a Ferrari, and varied private bills.

Per an announcement, with help from the Stanislaus County District Lawyer Bureau of Investigation and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Workplace, the FBI is main the inquiry, whereas Assistant U.S. Lawyer Jeffrey A. Spivak oversees the prosecution.

The sentencing is slated for Could 30, 2024, earlier than U.S. District Choose Troy L. Nunley, the place every defendant might probably obtain a most statutory penalty of 10 years in jail and a $250,000 advantageous. 

Nevertheless, the precise sentences can be on the court docket’s discretion, contemplating statutory elements and adherence to Federal Sentencing Pointers.

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