On May 9, a court in the US handed former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi two years imprisonment. During the court procession, Judge Loretta Preska ordered Wahi to be placed behind bars for insider trading charges.
Preska instructed the law enforcers to present Wahi on June 21 at 02:00 PM ET for imprisonment. Wahi will serve a 24 months jail term at Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution in New Jersey.
Coinbased Ex-Manager Charged for Insider Trading
In July 2022, Wahi was arrested for insider trading and wire fraud, which obliged the law enforcement unit to take further potential action. He was accused of misusing his power when he was the product manager at Coinbase.
Wahi was accused of disclosing confidential information on the crypto listing to his brother Nikhil and his closest ally Sameer Ramani which was against Coinbase’s company constitution. It was observed that Wahi’s wrongdoing generated illegal profits amounting to $1 million.
A subsequent report from the US attorney Damian Williams revealed that Wahi broke the trust granted by his employer by sharing sensitive information regarding the listing of crypto assets on Coinbase.
The prosecutors noted that Wahi used his expertise to trade the crypto assets on the Coinbase trading platform for personal gain. They observed that at the primary level of listing the new digital assets on the trading platform, their value gradually increased due to the, “Coinbase effect.”
Legal Action Against Insider Trading
Reportedly, the prosecutors noted that Wahi illegally traded crypto assets from 2021 to 2022. During his arrest, Wahi attempted to flee the US to his home country India.
The 32-year-old was arrested before boarding his flight at the airport by the American police. In February, Wahi appeared for arraignment for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
In a previous court proceeding, Wahi’s attorney requested the court to examine their client’s immigration condition in the US before engaging in further legal action. They argued that the court action had damaged Wahi’s public image in the US and India.
In their submission, Wahi legal team urged the court to discontinue their further judgment since their client was already dismissed from work. Supporting the attorney’s defensive messages, Wahi apologized before the court for his misconduct.
Afterward, Ishan, Nikhil and Ramani pleaded guilty to insider trading and agreed to cooperate with the court. Last September, Nikhil was sentenced to 10 months for conspiring to commit wire fraud.
OpenSea Ex-Manager Convicted for Insider Trading
After a thorough investigation, the US Securities and Exchange Commission submitted a new lawsuit against Wahi and his counterparts for contravening the securities regulations. Wahi’s arrest mirrors a recent legal action against OpenSea’s ex-manager Nathaniel Chastain, who was accused of insider trading.
The prosecutors argued that Chastain was biased when selecting the nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to be listed on the platform.
Before his arrest, Chastain had accumulated a profit amounting to $50000 from suspicious buying and selling of NFTs. Besides the insider trading allegation, the prosecutors accused Chastain of fraud and money laundering.
Following his arrest, a judge in the US ordered Chastain to be imprisoned for 20 years for each charge. In the meantime, the Department of Justice (DoJ) revealed that Wahi and Chastain insider trading cases were the first to be reported in the crypto world.
According to attorney Williams, the legal action against Wahi revealed that the law still applies in crypto assets.