• Former Coinbase employee Ishan Wahi plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to insider trading.
• His brother, Nikhil Wahi, was found guilty in January and ordered to serve 10 months in prison and pay a financial penalty of $900k.
• U.S. Attorney Damian Williams warns that stealing confidential business information for personal gain is a serious federal crime.
Former Coinbase Employee Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading
The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that Ishan Wahi, a former product manager at Coinbase, has plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with an insider trading scheme involving cryptocurrency tokens. This marks the first time an individual has been held accountable for such a crime regarding crypto assets.
Background on the Case
The case began more than two years ago in October 2020 when Wahi was given specific data about which tokens were set to be listed on Coinbase’s trading platform. Knowing this would cause the prices of these tokens to rise, he recruited his brother Nikhil and another friend into purchasing them prior their listing on the platform before selling them at a higher price for profit. In January 2021, Nikhil was found guilty and ordered to pay a financial penalty of nearly $900k as well as serve 10 months in prison for his involvement in the scheme.
U.S Attorney Warns Against Insider Trading
U.S Attorney Damian Williams presided over the court case and warned that stealing confidential business information for personal gain is a serious federal crime regardless if it happens within equity or cryptocurrency markets: „Wahi is the first insider to admit guilt in an insider trading case involving the cryptocurrency markets.“ He further added that those who break this law will face serious consequences from authorities – including jail time and heavy fines – depending on their involvement with the scheme itself.
Significance of Case
This is arguably one of the most significant cases ever opened by authorities related to cryptocurrencies as it’s an example of how seriously they are taking crimes related digital assets such as Bitcoin (BTC). Although there have been certain cases where individuals have been accused or convicted of similar types of fraud before now, none have ever involved cryptocurrencies until this point – making it even more noteworthy from both legal and moral standpoints alike.
Sentencing Date Set
Ishan Wahi is set to be sentenced for his part in the scheme roughly two months from now – May 2023 – whereupon he may be required serve more time than his brother due to having closer connections with Coinbase itself when carrying out their plan previously outlined above.