A Bartow, Florida state employee was fired and arrested after being caught trying to mine cryptocurrency for himself.
Matthew McDermott, 51, of Davenport was the information technology manager for the Florida Department of Citrus, which oversees the state’s $9 billion citrus farming industry. According to Tampa Bay Times, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found that McDermott used a state credit card to purchase more than $22,000 worth of graphic processing units to mine cryptocurrencies bitcoin and litecoin. As if that weren't bad enough, the enormous amount of computing power it takes to mine for digital currency made the I.T. department's utility bills jump a staggering 40 percent October 2017 and January 2018.
The FDLE concluded that McDermott was part of a cryptocurrency mining pool that combines their resources and profits from digital gains. He is charged with grand theft and official misconduct. Bail was set at $5,000.
This comes just as Google put a ban on cryptocurrency advertisements that will go in effect in June amid increased scrutiny over digital currencies. Facebook took similar action in January by banning ads on "binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency." Bitcoin's stock fell 12 percent in late January after Facebook's ad slash.