California School Officials Admit Guilt in Illegal Crypto Mining Operation

California school officials, Jeffrey Menge and Eric Drabert, plead guilty to orchestrating an illegal crypto mining scheme, exploiting school resources for personal gain. The elaborate fraud involved over $1.2 million in deceitful dealings and raised concerns about increased energy consumption.

  • Guilty Pleas: Jeffrey Menge and Eric Drabert, senior officials of Patterson Joint Unified School District, plead guilty to theft charges.
  • Cryptocurrency Mining Scheme: School resources exploited for an illicit crypto mining operation, contributing to increased energy consumption.
  • Elaborate Fraud: Over $1.2 million involved in fraudulent activities through Cencal Tech LLC, including double billing and fictitious transactions.

Guilty Pleas and Illicit Operations

In a shocking revelation, officials at the Patterson Joint Unified School District in California, namely Jeffrey Menge and Eric Drabert, have confessed to orchestrating an illegal cryptocurrency mining operation. The U.S. Department of Justice exposed the elaborate scheme, unraveling a web of deceit that extended beyond financial misconduct.

Exploiting School Resources

Menge, the Assistant Superintendent, and Drabert, the IT Director, utilized school resources, including high-end graphics cards, to establish a crypto mining farm within the district’s facilities. This operation not only drained the district’s electricity but also raised concerns amid a nationwide crackdown on energy-intensive crypto mining.

Financial Misconduct and Personal Gain

The duo’s fraudulent activities went beyond crypto mining, involving over $1.2 million in deceitful dealings through Menge’s controlled company, Cencal Tech LLC. Their actions included double billing, fictitious transactions, and personal exploitation of district vehicles. The embezzled funds funded lavish personal expenses, from home renovations to luxury cars.

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