Louisiana Officials Probe Staffers for Bitcoin Mining

The attorney general of the U.S. state of Louisiana is reportedly investigating a group of former staffers for using official resources to mine cryptocurrencies.

According to a report from the Tribune News Service, officials in Louisiana have yet to publicly comment on the rumored investigation. Yet sources told the publication that the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation began asking questions after discovering “hardware that they believed could have been used in the so-called mining of bitcoin.”

“We were worried that the (computer) systems may have been compromised,” one source told the news outlet. Some of the employees, whose names were not published, have reportedly denied that they engaged in the energy-intensive mining process, through which new coins are minted.

If confirmed, the investigation would be the latest to emerge in recent years regarding the suspected use of public-office resources to mine cryptocurrencies.

In January 2017, for example, Federal Reserve’s Office of the Inspector General fined a former staffer $5,000 after being caught mining bitcoins on a server owned by the U.S. central bank between 2012 and 2014. Later that year, New York’s Department of Education sanctioned an employee for mining bitcoins on their work computer between March and April 2014.

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