Minnesota Man Faces Accusations of Electricity Theft for Bitcoin Mining

  • Sergey Maga
  • 4 December, 2023 02:51
Minnesota Man Faces Accusations of Electricity Theft for Bitcoin Mining

In Roseau, Minnesota, a lucrative bitcoin mining operation, generating $5,000 monthly, has led to serious allegations for a local man. On December 2, 2023, a civil lawsuit was filed against Ryan Jaenicke and his former partner, Tina Fehlhaber, accusing them of illicitly harnessing electricity to power their 26 bitcoin ASIC miners since 2022, according to TheMinerMag.

The plaintiffs, North Star, a member-owned cooperative providing power across Minnesota counties including Roseau, initiated the lawsuit on November 20. They claim to have detected a substantial electricity loss in June 2022. An inspection in May 2023 revealed unauthorized equipment tied to North Star’s infrastructure in Roosevelt, Roseau, enabling power usage without proper metering.

North Star’s investigation led them to a Roosevelt property owned by Fehlhaber, where Jaenicke had previously resided. Their findings included two unapproved 50kva transformers and the bitcoin mining setup, believed to be the source of the unaccounted power usage.

Jaenicke, who runs a YouTube channel “Denegerate Passive Income,” regularly discusses his ventures in real estate and cryptocurrency. In a March 2022 video, he boasted a monthly passive income of $5,000 from mining, showcasing his operations and profitability calculations based on then-current bitcoin hash prices.

The dip in bitcoin’s hash price from $190/PH/s in March to a mere $60/PH/s by year-end would necessitate a significant reduction in electricity costs for Jaenicke to maintain his income levels, casting further suspicion on his practices.

North Star, upon disconnecting the unauthorized setup and reporting to authorities, is now seeking over $50,000 in damages and the forfeiture of profits derived from the alleged theft.

Jaenicke has yet to comment on the allegations. The full legal complaint is available for review, underscoring the ongoing tension between cryptocurrency mining operations and energy providers.

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