- Xiao Yi allegedly concealed the true extent of the mining operation’s energy consumption.
- Yi is sentenced to life imprisonment and has had all personal property confiscated
A former government official in China has been sentenced to life imprisonment for engaging in corrupt activities, including running a sizable Bitcoin mining operation, along with unrelated charges of corruption. Xiao Yi, a former member of the Jiangxi Provincial Political Consultative Conference Party Group and vice chairman, faced the verdict on August 22.
The Intermediate People’s Court of Hangzhou City found Xiao Yi guilty of corruption and abuse of power. These charges encompassed bribery activities spanning from 2008 to 2021, as well as abuse of power allegations from 2017 to 2021. The latter charge pertains to financial and electricity subsidies provided to Jiumu Group Genesis Technology, a company operating a substantial Bitcoin mining enterprise in Fuzhou. This mining operation, at its peak, managed over 160,000 Bitcoin mining machines.
Prosecutors revealed that Xiao Yi had concealed the true extent of the mining operation’s energy consumption. He allegedly directed relevant departments to manipulate statistical data and alter electricity consumption categorizations. This scheme persisted from 2017 to 2020, during which time the mining enterprise’s electricity consumption accounted for 10% of Fuzhou’s total electricity usage. In addition to the abuse of power charges, Xiao Yi was found guilty of accepting bribes unrelated to the crypto mining operation.
The Hangzhou People’s Court noted that Xiao Yi had confessed to his crimes, expressed remorse, and voluntarily returned the illicitly obtained funds. As a consequence of his actions, he was sentenced to life imprisonment and had all personal property confiscated. Furthermore, his political rights have been permanently revoked.
China has been intensifying its efforts to combat corruption and crack down on illicit activities in various sectors, including the cryptocurrency industry. Despite its crackdowns, China continues to wield considerable influence in the global cryptocurrency market. The nation remains a significant market for major crypto exchanges, exemplified by Binance, which attributes 20% of its worldwide volume to the Chinese market.