In latest developments, two California college district officers have admitted responsible to stealing as much as $1.8 million and misappropriating electrical energy to finance and function a clandestine crypto-mining operation.
America Division of Justice (DOJ) disclosed that Jeffrey Menge, former Assistant Superintendent and Chief Enterprise Officer of Patterson Joint Unified College District, and Eric Drabert, the district’s IT Director, pleaded responsible to expenses of theft regarding packages receiving federal funds.
Fraudulent Billing Scandal
In response to the DOJ’s statement, Menge, as Assistant Superintendent, employed Drabert as the college district’s IT director round 2020.
Collectively, they orchestrated a sequence of illicit activities to siphon funds from the district. Menge reportedly utilized a Nevada-based firm referred to as CenCal Tech LLC, which he managed, as a entrance for the crypto scheme.
The investigation revealed that to bypass restrictions on conducting social gathering transactions, Menge created a fictitious government, “Frank Barnes,” to symbolize CenCal Tech.
By means of this setup, it’s alleged that Menge and Drabert executed fraudulent transactions price over $1.2 million, involving practices equivalent to double billing, overbilling, and billing for undelivered objects.
Illicit Crypto Mining Operation Unveiled
Diversifying their criminal activities, Menge and Drabert went past monetary embezzlement, based on the US Division of Justice.
The regulation enforcement company acknowledged that the people utilized “high-end graphics playing cards,” college district property, and electrical energy to determine and function a crypto mining farm inside the college district.
The illegally mined crypto property had been then redirected to wallets below their management. Moreover, Menge is alleged to have exploited college district-owned autos, buying a Chevy truck at a reduced value and promoting it for private revenue whereas utilizing a Ford Transit van as his automobile.
The general magnitude of the embezzlement was staggering. Menge misappropriated funds between $1 million and $1.5 million, whereas Drabert was discovered responsible of stealing between $250,000 and $300,000.
The DOJ revealed that the ill-gotten beneficial properties had been used for “lavish” private bills. Menge indulged in reworking his residence, buying luxurious autos, together with a Ferrari sports activities automobile, and funding different private endeavors. Drabert, however, utilized stolen funds to renovate his trip cabin and for numerous private bills.
The responsible pleas by Jeffrey Menge and Eric Drabert, former officers of Patterson Joint Unified College District, make clear a surprising case of embezzlement and crypto mining fraud inside the training system.
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