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Former Fed staffer fined for using server to mine bitcoin

01 February 2017  |  11462 views  |  2 Bitcoin

A former Federal Reserve employee has been sentenced to 12 months' probation and fined $5000 for installing software on a Fed server to use its computing power to earn bitcoins.

Network systems communications analyst Nicholas Berthaume pleaded guilty to one misdemeanour count of unlawful conversion of government property in October.

According to the plea agreement, Berthaume installed the software on a Board server to connect to an online Bitcoin network in order to earn bitcoins. How much he made could not be established.

He also "modified certain security safeguards so that he could remotely access the server from home," says a statement from the central bank’s Office of Inspector General.

When confronted, Berthaume denied any wrongdoing before remotely deleting the software. However, forensic analysis led to his firing and eventual admission of guilt.

Comments: (2)

Dirk Kinvig
Dirk Kinvig - Finextra - London | 01 February, 2017, 10:04

Any mention of how many btc he was able to mine? Assuming that it was only the one non-dedicated server and the profits were split with other participants, then I'll wager significantly less than the value of the fine.

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Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto | 01 February, 2017, 13:14

Yes, a mention...in the story, Dirk!

"How much he made could not be established."

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