US Police Officer Charged with Receiving Stolen Bitcoin Miners

A New Jersey police officer has been arrested and charged with receiving stolen property after allegedly selling stolen bitcoin mining equipment.

According to Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D Soriano, Vincent Saggese, 32, of Metuchen, NJ, met with a Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office undercover detective twice and negotiated the sale of stolen KNC Miner Neptune devices.

Saggese, who worked for the Plainfield Police Department for 10 years, was also charged with professional misconduct after allegedly accepting $250 from the undercover detective and agreeing to obtain the address and a photograph of a license plate’s owner.

The defendant was arrested in Somerville on 17th April and the license plate number given to him by the undercover officer was found written on a slip of paper in his pocket.

Detectives then seized the currency used by the undercover detective to purchase the bitcoin mining equipment as well as the $250 for the license plate information.

Saggese has been charged with Official Misconduct 2nd degree and Receiving Stolen Property 3rd degree.

Bad cops

This isn’t the first time police officials have been charged with crimes relating to stolen bitcoins or bitcoin mining equipment.

Last month two federal agents who took part in the US government’s efforts to take down online black market Silk Road were charged with fraud for allegedly misusing bitcoin funds.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) alleges US Secret Service special agent Shaun Bridges “diverted” more than $800,000 in bitcoin to his personal accounts without authorization.

Also, the DOJ alleges Drug Enforcement Administration agent Carl Mark Force IV “solicited and received” digital currency as part of the investigation into Silk Road, using “fake online personas” to “steal from the government and targets of the investigation”.

Both Bridges and Force were charged with money laundering and wire fraud. Force has also been charged with the theft of government property.

Arrested image via Shutterstock

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