A Florida Department of Citrus employee is facing charges related to using the state agency's computers to mine for cryptocurrency. ( File photo )

A Florida Department of Citrus employee has been arrested on allegations of using state computers to mine for cryptocurrencies.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported Matthew McDermott, 51, the department of citrus’ information technology manager, not only used the computers in an attempt to accrue virtual currency, he spent more than $22,000 of state money to buy 24 graphic processing units to boost computing power to do so.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, utility bills at the Florida Department of Citrus rose more than 40% from October 2017 to January 2017, costing about $825. The process to mine for the virtual money requires “extensive computing power,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“A mining pool, or team, is used to solve mathematical equations in an effort to mine the virtual currency and win an award. The pool combines its resources to help offset costs,” according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, as reported by the Times.

McDermott has been charged with grand theft and official misconduct, according to the Times.

 

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