- A man in England was sentenced to more than a year in prison for stealing $44,000 worth of electricity, according to a report Thursday.
- An inspection of the 40-year-old man’s premises showed he was running more than 200 devices using stolen power.
- The electricity was diverted from two locations that were closed for summer holidays.
A 40-year-old man in England was sentenced to more than a year in prison for stealing electricity to run machines he was using to mine bitcoin, according to a report.
Cryptocurrency trader Sanjay Singh pleaded guilty to two counts of “abstracting” electricity from two locations. He was caught bypassing electrical mains to power his machines, with the stolen energy worth up to £32,000 ($44,000), according to a report Thursday from news site Leicestershire Live.
Investigators found Singh stole power from the Firefly nightclub in Loughborough, a town about 100 miles northwest of London, and from an industrial site in another town roughly 12 miles from Loughborough. Both the industrial site and the nightclub were closed for the summer holidays at the time of Singh’s offenses.
“The overwhelming majority of times we see offenses of abstracting electricity, they are to support other criminal activities such as growing cannabis,” Andrew Baxter of the Crown Prosecution Service was quoted as saying by Leicestershire Live. “Bitcoin mining is a legitimate legal enterprise. Sanjay Singh was simply acting out of greed.”
Bitcoin miners use computers to solve complex puzzles to verify digital currency transactions and are rewarded with new coins. The process requires a huge amount of energy.
The CPS said clues to Singh’s activities first emerged when an energy provider looked into an overload at a substation caused by cryptocurrency mining.
But even while an investigation was underway at the industrial unit, Singh went on to take power from the nightclub.
Prosecutors said an inspection of Singh’s premises showed he tampered with wiring to run more than 200 devices, the news report said. He was sentenced to prison for 13 months and two weeks.