The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has reported that an IT contractor from Killara, a city near Sydney, mined cryptocurrency worth US$6,184 using modified government computer systems.
According to Coindesk, the 33-year-old Australian government employee has been charged after police found that he was mining cryptocurrency at work.
Chris Goldsmid, AFP acting commander and manager of cybercrime operations, said the crimes were considered “very serious,” due to the fact that the employee used government resources for his own gain.
“Australian taxpayers put their trust in public officials to perform vital roles for our community with the utmost integrity. Any alleged criminal conduct which betrays this trust for personal gain will be investigated and prosecuted,” Goldsmid said.
The AFP disclosed that the man is set to appear in a local court, which will render verdicts over two charges: unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment and unauthorized modification of restricted data. The charges fall under the country’s Criminal Code Act and carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and two years imprisonment, respectively.
There have been other cases of government employees mining crypto at work. In 2017, a former employee of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Directors was found to be mining Bitcoin on the U.S. central bank’s server and was fined US$5,000 and put on probation as a consequence.
In China, two school principals were reportedly stealing power from their educational institution to mine ether. Meanwhile, in Russia, nuclear scientists at a weapons research facility were charged for using state resources for crypto mining last February.
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