Key points to remember
- Former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi has pleaded guilty to the insider trading charges against him.
- Wahi admitted to taking advantage of Coinbase’s crypto listing process for monetary gains.
- He faces up to 40 years in prison.
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Ishan Wahi, the former chief product officer of Coinbase, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in the “first ever” crypto insider trading case.
First case of crypto insider trading
One of the most high-profile crypto legal cases of the last year saw a significant development yesterday.
Former Coinbase Product Manager Ishan Wahi pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of a scheme to commit insider trading. He faces up to 40 years in prison; he is to be sentenced on May 10.
Coinbase is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. Due to the size and notoriety of the company, especially in the United States, cryptocurrencies usually enjoy a price spike when the announcement is made that they will be listed on the platform.
Crypto influencer Cobie noticed in April 2022 that some wallets were actively buying soon-to-be-listed tokens 24 hours before the listings were made available to the public. His Twitter post draws attention from Coinbase and the Department of Justice, who investigated the matter and discovered that Wahi might be the culprit. When Coinbase contacted Wahi to discuss the matter, he attempted to leave the United States for India, but was stopped by law enforcement.
The DOJ discovered that Wahi had shared registration information with his brother, Nikhil Wahi, and a friend, Sameer Ramani. The trio generated approximately $1.5 million in unrealized earnings from 14 different listing listings from at least August 2021 to May 2022. Nikhil Wahi has already pleaded guilty to the charges against him in September.
US attorney Damian Williams said yesterday that Wahi was “the first insider to admit guilt in an insider trading case involving the cryptocurrency markets”, adding that “whether it happens in the stock markets or in the crypto markets, stealing confidential business information for your own personal account”. profit or the benefit of others is a serious federal crime.
Disclaimer: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH, and several other crypto assets.