British Man Jailed For $44,000 Bitcoin Mining Electricity Theft

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  • A British man has been jailed for 13 months for stealing £32,000 ($44,000) worth of electricity for Bitcoin mining
  • Sanjay Singh illegally mined Bitcoin twice at two different locations
  • He pleaded guilty just before standing trial this week

A British man has been jailed after admitting to stealing £32,000 ($44,000) worth of electricity to mine Bitcoin on two separate occasions. Sanjay Singh, 40, was due to face trial on Monday for his actions but changed his plea to guilty at the last minute, admitting to ‘abstracting’ electricity at two separate sites in the English Midlands area to carry out his illegal Bitcoin mining operation. As a result he was sentenced to just over 13 months in prison in what prosecutors called a “highly unusual case”.

Singh Committed Second Offence While First Was Being Investigated

Singh tampered with the wiring at an industrial estate just outside Leicester in order to steal electricity for around 200 ASIC Bitcoin mining machines. His activities were rumbled when a power provider investigated a fault at a substation caused by his machines overloading the system and found the machines. Amazingly, while this offence was under investigation Singh went on to commit the same offence at the Firefly nightclub in Loughborough, which was closed for the summer holidays at the time.

“Highly Unusual” Bitcoin Mining Case

Singh was charged with two counts of abstracting electricity and was due to stand trial at Leicester Crown Court on Monday but pleaded guilty to both offences, although his late plea added more time to his sentence than he would have otherwise received. Andrew Baxter of the Crown Prosecution Service described the case as being “highly unusual”, adding that the overwhelming majority of stolen electricity cases are “to support other criminal activities such as growing cannabis”.

This theory is backed up by a discovery made less than 40 miles from Singh’s endeavours back in May when police expecting to find a cannabis mine stumbled across a huge illegal Bitcoin mining operation in Birmingham instead.