COHASSET, MASS. (WHDH) - A judge has issued an arrest warrant for a former Cohasset employee accused of stealing electricity from the town to power a cryptomining operation, according to Cohasset Police.
Police say Nadeam Nahas, 39, of Norwell was summoned to court to be arraigned Thursday on charges linked to vandalizing a school and stealing electricity. But he did not show up.
Cohasset police said 11 powerful computers used to mine cryptocurrency were discovered in a basement crawl space adjacent to the boiler room at Cohasset Middle-High School in December of 2021.
Some of the computers had been placed in coolers found in the space. There was also ductwork present to vent heat from the machines outside.
It is believed the machines were operating 24/7.
At first, it was a mystery why they were there. But police said a three-month probe with some help from federal investigators helped them determine Nahas, the assistant director of the facilities department, was allegedly stealing electricity from the people of Cohasset to make money mining crypto.
Police questioned Nahas and he told them he didn’t know anything about the equipment found near the boiler room.
They said he got nervous when presented with evidence he had purchased items at Home Depot that were traced through skew numbers on some of the ductwork located in the crawl space.
A police report said Nahas “became red in the face and began sweating quite a lot” when he saw the Home Depot receipts and reviewed posts on Twitter he had made about crypto.
Mining cryptocurrency is expensive because of the power needed for computers to do their job.
Police said the 11 computers in this case used 455 kilowatt hours per day, costing $17,492.57 over a 7.5 month period from April 28 through Dec. 14, 2021.
Nahas was not arrested. But he was ordered to appear in court Thursday for his arraignment. A judge issued a warrant for his arrest when he did not show.
The report said Nahas previously worked in the HVAC department in the Plymouth school system, adding that an inspection of one school found suspicious vent holes in the concrete of a remote area of the Plymouth Community Intermediate School on Long Pond Road.
Plymouth police said no charges are pending in their community.
In Cohasset, officials said Nahas resigned his job while under investigation in early 2022.
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