Warrant issued for Cohasset employee charged with mining cryptocurrency inside school

This is a developing story.

QUINCY − A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a 39-year-old town of Cohasset employee who failed to appear in Quincy District Court Thursday morning. Police say he stole thousands of dollars worth of electricity by mining cryptocurrency inside of a school.

Nadeam Nahas has been charged with fraudulent use of electricity and vandalizing a school. He resigned his job as assistant facilities director in early 2022 and was summonsed to court this week. He failed to appear Thursday, a spokesperson for the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office said, and a default warrant was issued for his arrest.

Cohasset Police Chief William Quigley said detectives were called to Cohasset Middle/High School in December of 2021 to investigate a report of a possible “cryptocurrency mining operation.” The set up, which included dozens of mining machines in a remote crawl space under.

Nadeam Nahas, who police say mined Bitcoin inside Cohasset Middle/High School, has been charged with two crimes.

Detectives interviewed the town facilities director, who said that during a routine inspection of the school he noticed electrical wires, temporary duct work and numerous computers that seemed out of place.  After researching and contacting the town IT director, officials learned it was a cryptocurrency mining operation illegally attached to the school electrical system.

“Mining” is the process through which Bitcoin and other digital currencies are created and new transactions are verified. It involved a complicated system of computers and massive amounts of energy.

The total global electricity usage for crypto-assets are between 120 and 240 billion kilowatt-hours per year, the White House said, which outpaces annual energy use of many individual countries, like Argentina or Australia.

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Reach Mary Whitfill at mwhitfill@patriotledger.com.

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This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Police: Cohasset employee mined cryptocurrency in school crawl space