Brothers Face Jail Time for Stealing Power to Mine Bitcoins

Two brothers in the Netherlands face months in prison after allegedly siphoning power to fuel a small bitcoin mining operation.

AccessTimeIconSep 21, 2016 at 8:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 10, 2022 at 9:15 p.m. UTC

Two brothers in the Netherlands face months in prison after allegedly siphoning power to fuel a small bitcoin mining operation, Dutch authorities say.

The case dates back to 2014, when the brothers, whose names were not disclosed, are said to have been caught stealing electricity from a local utility provider in order to power bitcoin mining devices at a location in Rotterdam. Prosecutors said this week that, in total, the brothers mined roughly €200k ($223,000) worth of bitcoin prior to being caught.

According to the Openbaar Ministerie, the public prosecutorial service in the Netherlands, the brothers have both been charged with money laundering. One brother, who owned the property in which the devices were kept, has also been charged with stealing power to grow marijuana plants at the same location.

suggest that the younger brother, aged 39, faces up to fifteen months in prison if convicted. The older brother, aged 42, could be sentenced to as many as five months in prison.

Fines as high as €250,000 may also be levied if the two are convicted.

A decision is expected in the next two weeks, local news source De Gelderlander reported.

Image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.