Former Coinbase Employee Charged In First-Ever Crypto Insider Trading Case

Former Coinbase Employee Charged In First-Ever Crypto Insider Trading Case

Ishan Wahi, former Coinbase COIN product manager, has been arrested and charged with insider trading in what the Department of Justice said is the first crypto insider trading tipping scheme case of its kind. 

The indictment unsealed Thursday charges Wahi, the former product manager at Coinbase; his brother Nikhil; and Sameer Ramani with wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading, according to a Justice Department press release.

“Today’s charges are a further reminder that Web3 is not a law-free zone.  Just last month, I announced the first-ever insider trading case involving NFTs, and today I announce the first-ever insider trading case involving cryptocurrency markets," Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

Ishan Wahi began his activities at Coinbase in October 2020 and was assigned to the asset listing team that managed confidential information about future listings and dates of public announcements.

Fom June 2021 to April 2022, Ishan tipped his brother and friend on future listings at least 14 times, the Justice Department said.

The three used anonymous Ethereum ETH/USD wallets to acquire the soon-to-be-listed assets, which were sold after the Coinbase listing announcements, generating at least $1.5 million in profits, according to the indictment. 

Photo courtesy of Coinbase. 

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