After being caught mining digital currency at work, a 33-year-old employee of the Australian government has been charged. Illegal crypto mining at work leads to arrest of an Australian Government employee.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) alleged in a press release on Tuesday, that government computer systems were modified by the individual, to mine cryptocurrency worth over AU$9,000 (US$6,184) for his personal use.

As per the AFP, the man, who remained unnamed and was solely identified an IT contractor from the Sydney suburb of Killara, was taken to a local court with more than two charges under the nation’s Criminal Code Act:

  • unapproved alteration of information to cause weakness
  • unapproved change of limited information

The allegations made will respectively carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and two years imprisonment.

A raid was conducted at the contractor’s home last year. At that time, AFP police officers seized a laptop, phone, employee ID cards and data files.

AFP acting commander and manager of cybercrime operations, Chris Goldsmid, stated the charges made are “very serious,” as he elaborated:

“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.”

This news is just the latest instance of employees who have gotten themselves in trouble for mining cryptocurrency at work.

A previous example is from 2017, when a former employee of the Federal Reserve Board of Directors was caught mining bitcoins on a server owned by the U.S. central bank. That person was put on probation and also fined $5,000.

The same criminal behaviour occurred last February at a Russian weapons research facility. Nuclear scientists were charged for mining cryptocurrency. And then again last November, this time in China where two school principals were caught stealing power from their educational institute to mine ether.

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