A Massachusetts teacher is facing charges after authorities say he carried out an elaborate cryptocurrency mining operation out of the school where he worked. Nadeam Nahas, 39, was teaching at Cohasset High School when a town facilities inspector visited the school and found an unusual electrical setup in one room.
The excessive number of computers, electrical wires, and temporary duct work prompted Cohasset Police Detectives to be called to the school and “investigate a report of a possible Crypto Currency mining operation that was discovered in a remote crawl space under the school,” Cohasset Police Chief William Quigly said in a statement to Gizmodo.
Police were alerted by the town’s IT director and requested the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the crawl space under the school. The teams safely removed all equipment and forensically examined its origin over a three-month period leading them to identify Nahas as a person of interest.
Authorities first discovered the makeshift mining setup in December 2021 which revealed that not only was Nahas allegedly carrying out an illegal operation, he was also using taxpayer money to work off the electric grid. Because Crypto’s a digital currency, it can be mined using specialized computer processors, but can’t be done efficiently at a standard house. The amount of electricity needed to run the processors is far more than any home could handle.
Larry Glazer, a crypto expert and managing partner at Mayflower Advisors in Boston, told CBS News that it “can’t be done efficiently at home in New England because the cost of electricity is so prohibitively expensive.” Speaking about Nahas, Glazer added, “You had an employee who was effectively stealing electricity from the community from the taxpayers, and from the town.”
Nahas resigned from his position in early 2022 and a criminal complaint was issued for fraudulent use of electricity and school vandalization. He was scheduled to appear in Quincy District court for his arraignment on Thursday, but he never showed, forcing the court judge to issue a warrant for Nahas’ arrest.
Cohasset Communications and Community Engagement Specialist Justin Shrair told Gizmodo that no other information will be released at this time.