The state of Louisiana launches an investigation
The Louisiana Attorney General has reportedly launched an investigation into state officials accused of using government resources to mine Bitcoin.
A group of former staffers is rumored to have used state-owned computer equipment for mining cryptocurrencies.
The state’s AG, Jeff Landry, has yet to comment on the allegations publically, according to the Tribune News Service.
Sources told the publication that the matter caught the attention of the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation.
The LBI started investigating after being made aware of “hardware that they believed could have been used in the so-called mining of bitcoin.”
One source reportedly told the news outlet the issue had raised security concerns, saying:
“We were worried that the (computer) systems may have been compromised.”
Some of the employees have allegedly denied their involvement, but their names were not published, however.
Bitcoin mining is an energy-intensive process through which mints new coins.
If the Louisiana state investigation is confirmed, it would be the latest in a long line of crypto-mining cases to emerge in recent years.
Several instances have arisen where public-office resources are used to mine cryptocurrencies.
The Federal Reserve’s Office of the Inspector General fined a former staffer $5,000 in January 2017.
Nicholas Berthiaume, who previously worked as a communications analyst for the board, was fired after he was caught mining bitcoins using a server owned by the U.S. central bank between 2012 and 2014.
Court documents revealed that Berthiaume, who was indicted in October, had used a Federal server for over two years, from March 2012 to June 2014, to mine Bitcoin.
Later in the same year, an employee at New York’s Department of Education was sanctioned for mining bitcoins on their work computer between March and April 2014.
Vladimir Ilyayev admitted to installing mining software that ran at night, while he monitored its progress from his home.