Ex-Coinbase manager charged by U.S.

Ex-Coinbase manager has been charged by U.S. in first crypto insider trading case. U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan said on Thursday, along with two others, the former product manager at Coinbase Global has been charged with wire fraud in the first insider trading case involving cryptocurrency.

The product manager at the cryptocurrency exchange, Ishan Wahi and his brother Nikhil Wahi were arrested on Thursday in Seattle. They are expected to appear in federal court there later in the day. The third defendant, Sameer Ramani along with the other two, also face related U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil charges. Ramani is however at large.


The reason


Ishan Wahi, aged 32, has been charged of sharing confidential information about forthcoming announcements of new cryptocurrency assets that Coinbase would allow users to trade through its exchange, as prosecutors said.

Nikhil Wahi, aged 26, and Ramani, 33, have been charged with allegedly using ethereum blockchain wallets to acquire the assets, and to have traded at least 14 times from June 2021 and April 2022 before Coinbase’s announcements, generating at least $1.5 million of gains that are illicit, as according to prosecutors.

Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement,”Fraud is fraud is fraud, whether it occurs on the blockchain or on Wall Street.” Prosecutors also said a one-way plane ticket was bought by Ishan Wahi to India after he was summoned by a Coinbase security director to the company’s Seattle office for a meeting. The enforcement of law barred him from boarding the May 16 flight, prosecutors said.


Response of lawyers


Andrew St. Laurent, a lawyer for Ishan Wahi, declined to comment while Nikhil Wahi’s lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Ramani could not immediately be identified, as reported by Reuters.

Philip Martin, Coinbase’s chief security officer, wrote on Twitter, “We are committed to doing our part to ensure that all market participants have access to the same information,”.