Talk about a side hustle!

Crawlspace Crypto

Some people go to incredible lengths to make some extra bucks on the side.

A former high school employee in a small town in Massachusetts has been accused of running a secret cryptocurrency mining operation in the school's crawlspace, local ABC-affiliated news station WCVB reports, stealing nearly $18,000 in electricity from the district.

The unusual discovery prompted an investigation by law enforcement, and even the Department of Homeland Security showed up. After all, it's not every day you discover 11 mysterious computers running crypto-mining software tucked next to a public building's HVAC system.

Free Power

Following three months of investigating, law enforcement concluded that the racks had been running for eight months, costing the school district $17,492 in electricity.

The man accused of setting up the mining rig, a former assistant facilities director named Nadeam Nahas who resigned from the school in March 2022, has since been charged with fraudulent use of electricity and vandalizing a school, according to WCVB.

But whether Nahas was able to get much of a return is unclear. While major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have made some gains so far this year, they still have a  long way to go to recover from the disastrous second half of 2022, which wiped out over half of Bitcoin's value in a matter of months.

When WCVB asked Babson College IT professor Steve Gordon if it makes sense to mine crypto anywhere in New England, he had a straightforward answer.

"Not really," Gordon told the station. "Not unless you make an arrangement at some point in time with an energy provider to provide it very cheaply."

READ MORE: Former Cohasset employee charged with stealing thousands from town to power cryptomine [WCVB]

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