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March 14, 2018

A Florida Department of Citrus employee has been arrested for improperly using the agency's computers to mine for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The computers are typically reserved for matters having to do with the promotion and regulation of the local citrus industry.

Matthew McDermott, 51, was serving as the department's IT manager when he allegedly decided to use the computers "to solve mathematical equations in an effort to mine the virtual currency and win a reward," explained the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Because that process uses so much energy, the Florida Department of Citrus saw utility bills jump more than 40 percent between October 2017 and January 2018, costing an estimated $825. Additionally, McDermott allegedly spent nearly $22,000 on a state credit card to buy 24 graphic processing units, which " are often used to mine for cryptocurrency," the Tampa Bay Times writes.

McDermott is not the first employee to try to mine bitcoin on the job. Russian scientists working at a top-secret nuclear warhead facility were arrested earlier this year for trying to use a supercomputer to get rich quick. Jeva Lange

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