Imprisoned: Cryptocurrency trader stole £ 32,000 worth of electricity to power ‘bitcoin mining’ machines
A “greedy” cryptocurrency trader has been jailed after being caught bypassing the power grid to power the machines he used for his financial transactions.
Sanjay Singh, 40, admitted to “subtracting” electricity worth up to Â£ 32,000 from two sites in Leicestershire where he operated bitcoin mining machines, Leicester Crown Court said on Tuesday.
One was in an industrial unit in Coalville, while the other was in the Firefly nightclub in Loughborough, which was then closed for summer vacation.
READ MORE: Check out more crime stories on Leicestershire Live
Singh’s activities were first detected when an electricity supplier investigated a substation failure caused by cryptocurrency mining overloading the system, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) .
The CPS released details of the case and said an inspection of Singh’s premises showed he had tampered with the wiring to run more than 200 devices, from wiring diverted from mains power to a box. fuses not measured.
Investigations suggested he deceived the electricity supplier with tens of thousands of pounds of electricity.
While the industrial unit violation was investigated, Singh subsequently committed the same violation at Loughborough nightclub.
Bitcoin mining, in its most basic form, is all about discovering and adding more bitcoin to the digital currency âecosystemâ.
This is done using computers that generate bitcoin in a process called mining – where a computer calculates complex mathematical equations – and can be done at any time of the day.
Bitcoin miners are rewarded for every “block” they complete, with an entire bitcoin currently worth just over Â£ 40,000.
Mining has a significant impact on power consumption, with some bitcoin miners using hardware that uses less power to lower bills and maximize their overall profits.
Singh, of Oaks Farm, near Six Hills, west of Melton, was charged with two counts of electricity taking and was due to stand trial at Leicester Crown Court on October 11, but pleaded guilty to two offenses.
He was sentenced to 13 months and two weeks in prison.
Andrew Baxter of CPS said: âThis is a very unusual case.
âThe overwhelming majority of the times we see electricity sampling offenses are aimed at supporting other criminal activities such as growing cannabis.
âBitcoin mining is a legitimate legal business. Sanjay Singh was simply acting out of greed.
âHe was in the business to make money with his bitcoin business, but wasn’t honest enough to cover the cost of running the machines needed to run the operation.
âHe clearly had no qualms about his criminality as he continued to commit the same offense at a different site after being caught.
Get updates from LeicestershireLive straight to your inbox – click here to sign up for our newsletter.
You can also add your email address in the black registration box at the top of this page. It is so easy!
âIn addition to the dishonesty involved, the way Singh approached the two locals left wires dangerously exposed, putting people at risk.
âIn order to prosecute Sanjay Singh, it was necessary to carefully gather the evidence of the work he had done to calculate the value of the electricity that he had obtained illegally, as well as to establish that he was responsible for the tampering with it. power supply.
“We showed the court the level of planning it takes to divert power to the meters, including having two employees do the labs.”
Following Singh’s guilty plea, he was convicted on the grounds that the value of the stolen electricity was Â£ 32,000.
His jail term reflected his guilty plea late in the day and the fact that he had continued to offend while he was under investigation.
Keep up to date with the latest news with our email alerts delivered straight to your inbox. Register here.