• Former Coinbase employee Ishan Wahi has pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the first-ever insider trading case involving crypto.
• His brother, Nikhil, had already been convicted of similar charges and was ordered to pay nearly $900,000 and serve 10 months in prison.
• U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said that Wahi’s plea is an important reminder that no matter what market it takes place in, stealing confidential business information for personal gain is a serious federal crime.
Former Coinbase Employee Guilty Of Insider Trading
A former product manager at Coinbase, Ishan Wahi, recently pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in what is arguedly the first-ever insider trading case surrounding cryptocurrency. This two year long scheme began in October 2020 when he was given specific data regarding which tokens were set to be listed on the platform; knowing this would cause their prices to rise, he then got his brother and a friend involved in purchasing the tokens prior to their listings. When prices spiked as expected they sold the assets at a profit boosting their portfolios.
Back in January 2021, Wahi’s brother Nikhil was found guilty of similar charges and forced to pay nearly $900,000 along with serving 10 months in prison as punishment for his partitipation in the scheme.
U.S Attorney’s Statement
U.S Attorney Damian Williams who presided over the court case released a statement saying: “Wahi is the first insider to admit guilt in an insider trading case involving the cryptocurrency markets. Whether it occurs in the equity markets or the crypto markets, stealing confidential business information for your own personal profit or the profit of others is a serious federal crime”
Sentencing Date Set
Wahi will be sentenced by May 2023 for his crimes related to insider trading within cryptocurrency markets; likely facing harsher consequences than his brother due to his closer connection with Coinbase and role as instigator ofthe plan .
Tough Time For Exchange
Coinbase has had a bad run lately being caught up with multiple financial law cases including this one; however this conviction serves as an important reminder that no matter where it takes place stealing confidential business information for personal gain remains illegal under federal law