A hearing has been adjourned in the case of a fine-paying company linked to a Sturgeon County bitcoin miner.
A hearing on potential fines and sanctions against the company has been delayed for more than a year as the company faces a second investigation into the closure of an illegal bitcoin miner. controlled in Sturgeon County.
The company has been ordered to close an unregulated bitcoin mining facility in Sturgeon County, and a hearing to resolve potential fees and sanctions has been delayed by more than a year as it faces the company. with a second investigation into the failure to do so. Financial statements can be filed with the National Insurance Agency.
In the fall of 2020, following several noise complaints from residents of Greystone Manor in Sturgeon County, Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) enforcement officers targeted a nearby site operated by Link Global. Technologies based in Vancouver operated. An investigation into the reality of coin mining has begun. the facility is named Green Block Mining Corp. in 2022.
The AUC is an independent agency authorized by the provincial government to oversee the Alberta utility sector.
No official support
In 2021, AUC investigators found that Green Block had not received regulatory approval for the MAGA Energy-owned natural gas Sturgeon County facility; failing to notify nearby residents or conduct a noise assessment; and have not completed a previous environmental impact assessment. for operations — AUC leadership ordered the closure of this facility in August 2021, along with another Green Block facility in Kirkwall, Alberta.
Under the cease and desist order, the committee is expected to hold an oral hearing in November 2021 to determine the next step in the enforcement process — the Green Block and the AUC — to determine penalties and appropriate sanctions, but the hearing has since ended. postponed. This is largely due to Green Block’s failure to submit audited financial statements to AUC, which completed another investigation into Green Block’s third unregulated facility in Westerlock, Alberta.
In September 2021, CBC reported that Green Block could face a $7.1 million fine because of facilities in Sturgeon and Kirkwall counties. However, the so-called cancellation penalty is based on the estimated financial gain from the operation of the Green Block facility, which can only be determined through the company’s unaudited financial statements filed with the AUC on fall 2021.
Commission officials questioned the unverified financial statements provided by Green Block, as the company stated that it had no revenue from cryptocurrency mining from December 2020 to May 2021.
“The lack of cryptocurrency mining revenue raises questions about the adequacy of revenue reported for the six months ended May 31, 2021,” law enforcement officials wrote in their monthly filing. 9 year 2021.
Law enforcement officials advised the Commission not to take interim financial reporting too seriously and the AUC not to consider a proposed $7.1 million fine if Green Block had previously failed to report the report. audited financials.
In response, Gavin Fitch, the legal representative for the Green Block case, wrote to the AUC that the allegation by law enforcement officials that the company’s financial statements may be incomplete is “a very serious allegation.” important”, but Fitch did not elaborate. No mining. The company reported total mining revenue of $854,962 for 2019 and 2020.
Green Block’s latest financial statements are as of December 31, 2022. This happens when one company actually leases out bitcoin mining to another company (My Bitcoin), like in Sturgeon County. In most cases, the company that rents the facility pays for the energy used to run the computers, while the company that owns the facility runs its operations.
Westlock Facility and Delayed Hearing
The sentencing hearings for Green Block County and the Kirkwall plant were delayed because, among other reasons, employees filled Green Block and other company-run facilities three weeks after law enforcement the law to submit the case to the Commission. Second Survey of Westrock, Alberta.
In a letter to the AUC dated October 29, 2021, Fitch requested that a second investigation be added to the original investigation because Green Block believes both investigations address the same issue and should be investigated. trial in the same proceeding.
In response, the AUC agreed to merge the second investigation into the first and adjourn the final hearing indefinitely to allow law enforcement and the Green Block to present relevant documentary evidence. to the Westlock facility.
As part of the AUC’s enforcement process, the Commission considers submissions from interested parties before issuing a so-called Phase 1 decision, which is then used as part of a hearing. to impose fines and penalties.
On May 25, 2022, the AUC issued an initial phase decision in the case of the Westlock Green Block facility, alleging that Green Block operated the facility without the same regulatory permits as the Sturgeon facilities. and Kirkwall under the Electricity and Water Act.
In the decision, “Green Block” admitted that it did not carry out a noise impact assessment before putting the Westlock power plant into operation, and also did not take measures to determine the impact of Westlock power plant on the Westlock power plant. environment before operation. All measures have been taken to ensure the balance of the Westlock power station.
According to the ruling, the AUC is scheduled to schedule a trial from September 21 to 23, 2022, but only when Green Block submits its audited financial statements can law enforcement officials recommend issue a non-refundable income penalty for review by the AUC. The Green Block has until July 18, 2022 to submit its financial statements.
However, Fitch has requested an extension to file audited financial statements, saying that the company’s auditors have completed the work, but a third-party company is currently examining electricity consumption and wallets. Green Block’s cryptocurrency.
The ACU issued an initial extension and Fitch requested several additional extensions to submit financial documents with the AUC. The August 2022 extension has been requested as the audit of Green Blocks crypto mining operations is almost complete, but the crypto wallet of former Green Block CEO Stephen Jenkins is yet to be approved. check.
Simply put, a cryptocurrency wallet can be thought of as a digital program that stores and protects the owner’s cryptocurrency.
“Mr. Jenkins has been generally cooperative with this review, but perhaps unsurprisingly, he has shown no urgency to Green Block to complete it,” Fitch wrote.
The AUC said it would adjourn the hearing after the company submits its audited financial statements.
Fitch said in a January 16 email to The Gazette that he would make an announcement “soon”.
“The Green Block hopes to receive the audited financial statements soon, while the AUC process continues,” Fitch said.
AUC spokesman Jeff Scotton told the Gazette that the green block has not been updated since last November 7.
“However, pursuant to the Commission’s October 6, 2022 decision… Green Block is obligated to continuously update the Commission on the status of its financial assessment,” Scotton said.
On January 20, AUC sent a letter to Green Block asking them to update their audited financial statements, and Green Block provides monthly updates regardless of changes in circumstances.
Fitch responded in a letter to the AUC on January 25 that it had not renewed the Green Block provision, and the auditor recently told the company it was “a few weeks away”.
Through the commission’s online archives, the newspaper has access to all law enforcement documents, including letters and reports submitted by the AUC, law enforcement officials, and the Green Block .