The State Bureau of Investigation uncovers an underground crypto farm in the Lviv region run by the administration of the state business "Forests of Ukraine" (VIDEO).
SBI employees exposed the activities of an underground data centre for cryptocurrency mining, which was set up in the office premises of the Rava-Russke Forestry branch of the State Forestry Enterprise "Forests of Ukraine".
The crypto farm was organised by:
- the former director, who now heads another branch,
- his deputy, who now holds the position of director,
- chief accountant and
- other responsible persons.
They installed technological hardware in a state facility more than a year ago. The generated cryptocurrency was stored in specially created crypto wallets of the officials.
The state-owned enterprise paid for the electricity consumed, while the criminals made a net profit.
According to preliminary estimates, the losses amounted to more than UAH 1.5 million, and the offenders earned at least UAH 4 million.
In addition, the systematic overloading of utility networks resulted in blackouts and large-scale power outages in residential areas and critical infrastructure.
During the investigative actions, the Security Service of Ukraine found and seized the technological hardware used for the mining centre, including flash drives, computers, laptops, mobile phones, video cards, power supplies, motherboards, processors, hard drives, processor coolers, adapters, servers and discs with uninterrupted video surveillance, as well as documents confirming the criminal activity.
The estimated value of the seized equipment and computer hardware is over UAH 3 million.
Criminal proceedings were initiated over embezzlement of state property (Part 4 Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
The sanction of the article provides for imprisonment for up to 8 years.
Investigative actions are ongoing to establish the involvement of other persons in the criminal scheme. A number of examinations have been ordered.
The Ternopil Region Prosecutor's Office is in charge of the procedural supervision.