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According to various sources, a Federal Reserve employee was caught using the central bank’s internet server to mine bitcoin. Nicholas Berthaume, who worked for the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, was sentenced to a year of probation and fined $5,000 for using unauthorized Bitcoin software on a federal server.
Fed Employee Mines Bitcoin Using the Private Bank’s Internet Server
The Inspector General for the U.S. Federal Reserve revealed that the former analyst connected to the bank’s network to earn bitcoins. Berthaume was charged with illegally running unauthorized mining software on the Fed’s server from 2012 to 2014.
The Office of the Inspector General states that Berthaume plead guilty to unlawful conversion of government property. Initially, Berthaume denied knowing about the crime but later revealed his actions through testimony. According to court documents, Berthaume modified the network security as well, allowing remote access from his home.
“This case demonstrates how my office will vigorously pursue Board employees who unlawfully abuse their positions and use government property for personal gain,” Fed Inspector General Mark Bialek explained.
The Admission of Guilt
After originally denying any wrongdoing, Berthaume deleted the mining software to cover his tracks, the Inspector General detailed. However, from forensic analysis and members of the Federal Reserve System’s National Incident Response Team, the agents found evidence of Berthaume’s involvement. Bialek explained that the analyst was then terminated from the board and “ultimately led to his admission of guilt.”
Investigators could not determine how many bitcoins were accumulated by Berthaume’s actions. The Inspector General stated that the agency couldn’t conclusively figure out the profits “due to the anonymity of the Bitcoin network.” Furthermore, Bialek noted that the board’s data was now completely secure and the Board has subsequently implemented better security.
Berthaume’s actions did not result in a loss of Board information, and we have been informed that the Board has implemented security enhancements as a result of this incident. Additionally, Berthaume’s voluntary admission of guilt and his full cooperation were critical to the timely closure of this matter.
The story of the rogue Federal Reserve employee shows that there are clearly some members of the central bank who are more interested in cryptocurrencies than the private bank’s fiat money.
What do you think about the Federal Reserve employee mining Bitcoin on the Fed’s server? Let us know in the comments below.
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