Ex-Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi, his brother Nikhil Wahi and a friend Sameer Ramani have been indicted by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). On the basis of an alleged plot to engage in crypto asset insider trading using secret information obtained from Coinbase, the three men were charged with wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud.
New York’s Southern District and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been investigating the brothers since Thursday when they were both detained (SEC). Ramani, on the other hand, is still at large.
The authorities revealed that Ishan Wahi began working at Coinbase in October 2020 and was actively involved in product listings, among other activities attributed to his role.
From August 2021 until May 2022, he was also a member of the company’s private message channel, which was reserved for senior executives. The channel provided crucial information on the asset-listing process, including launch dates and other important data.
There has been a DOJ investigation into how a former Coinbase product manager allegedly obtained nonpublic information about the exchange’s planned cryptocurrency offerings, including public disclosures.
It was only after he violated a nondisclosure agreement that Nikhil Wahi and Sameer Ramani were able to acquire the cryptocurrencies ahead of their official listing date and benefit from their early purchases.
At least 14 insider tradings on 25 different cryptocurrencies resulted in nearly $1.5 million in gains for the three using this strategy.
As soon as he rejected Coinbase’s request for an interview, this former employee attempted to leave for India before being detained by law enforcement.
According to Attorney Williams, fraud is a fraud, and the court will continue to prosecute defaulters regardless of where it takes place.
It’s good to be reminded that Web3 is not a lawless haven. His announcement of the first insider trading case using cryptocurrency marketplaces comes only a few months after he revealed the first ever NFT insider trading investigation.
According to the counselor, the message they are sending with these accusations is quite clear: fraud is a fraud, regardless of where it takes place.
In the article, it was revealed that the three had been charged with different crimes. With a possible penalty of 20 years each, the former Coinbase employee was charged with two charges of conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud.
Both Nikhil Wahi and Ramani Wahi have been formally charged with one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of fire fraud.
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