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He Allegedly Hid Devices Under Floor at Work to Mine Bitcoin

Christopher Naples accused of running up more than $6K in electric bills for Suffolk County
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2021 7:31 AM CDT
County IT Boss Accused of Mining Bitcoin at Work
   (Getty/yucelyilmaz)

(Newser) – A county employee in New York state is accused of stealing from the job, but with an oh-so-modern twist. Authorities in Suffolk County say IT supervisor Christopher Naples mined cryptocurrency on the job and ran up at least $6,000 in electric bills in the process, reports the New York Times. Mining cryptocurrency—typically Bitcoin—requires heavy lifting from computers tasked with solving complex equations, per the AP. Prosecutors say the 42-year-old Naples used no fewer than 46 devices hidden throughout the county center in Riverhead, with some even tucked under floorboards. The devices belonged to Naples, but they ran on the county's dime, say authorities.

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“We’re talking about an enormous amount of energy,” says Suffolk County district attorney Timothy D. Sini. He says the estimate of $6,000 in utility bills is on the low side, because that reflects usage of only the first 10 devices discovered. They had been humming since February. Naples is charged with public corruption, grand larceny, and computer trespass, and he faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. It's not clear how much, if any, cryptocurrency he managed to collect before his arrest. (Read more bitcoin stories.)

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