According to recent reports, a crypto YouTuber and his former girlfriend face serious allegations in a recent lawsuit filed by a Minnesota power company. The lawsuit alleges that the couple attempted to bribe employees to upgrade a Bitcoin (BTC) mine that was allegedly stealing a significant amount of electricity.
Accused Of Power Theft To Fuel Bitcoin Mining Operation
The lawsuit was submitted on November 21, targeting Minnesota residents Ryan Jaenicke and Tina Fehlhaber. The couple is accused of stealing power from North Star Electric Cooperative to run a Bitcoin mine in Roosevelt, Minnesota.
The unlawful activity came to light in June of last year when North Star noticed a significant increase in electricity usage on an old line previously connected to a property in Roosevelt.
According to the investigations, the property had been disconnected from the electricity supply in 2018 after the previous owners vacated.
Further investigation by North Star revealed tampering with an old meter box, which had been manipulated to redistribute electricity to the Bitcoin mining operation from the North Star network to two electrical transformers and the Roosevelt property.
In collaboration with law enforcement, the cooperative observed an estimated 26 crypto-mining units at the location. However, when authorities returned with a search warrant, the mining devices had been removed from the property, reportedly witnessed by individuals at the scene.
The accused YouTuber, Ryan Jaenicke, operates a channel named ‘Degenerate Income,’ where he allegedly provides viewers with insights into generating passive income through “degenerate plays in the decentralized finance space (DeFi).”
Incriminating evidence from the lawsuit includes transcribed Facebook messages in which Jaenicke is seen attempting to bribe a North Star employee. Jaenicke offered $2,000 in cash to upgrade a fuse box secretly, but the employee declined, citing the risk to their career.
Jaenicke offered an additional $5,000, only to be rebuffed again, with the employee stating that he had approached the wrong person.
North Star Electric Cooperative seeks damages and retrieves any profits the accused couple may have acquired through the stolen power. The company also called upon Jaenicke to follow his published advice by taking responsibility for his actions and rectifying the situation.
At the time of writing, the largest cryptocurrency on the market, BTC, is trading at $41,500, up a remarkable 5% in the past 24 hours, coupled with gains of over 12% in the past seven days.
Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com