The US authorities charged the former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi, his brother Nikhil Wahi and another associate Sameer Ramani for alleged insider trading. The trio illegally procured information about the cryptocurrency listing from Coinbase. They earned about $1.5 million through the trade of 25 cryptocurrencies.
Damian Williams, the US attorney of the Southern District of New York, stated that it’s the second crypto insider trading case. According to the press release issued by the DOJ, Ishan Wahi leaked information about a total of 14 different listings at Coinbase. The convicts created fake Ethereum wallets with different names and bought 25 kinds of cryptocurrencies. Among traded currencies, some of them include POWR, TRIBE, GALA, ALCX, ENS and XYO.
The DOJ indictment also referenced a Cobie tweet which identified an Ethereum address that acted on insider information to buy up tokens before the exchange published it.
Though Ishaan Wahi got arrested on 21st July 2022, the authorities eyed him for months. They even stopped him in May from boarding a flight to India. As per the US Attorney’s report, Ishan shared information about tokens’ launch dates with his partners Ramani and his brother so that they could invest in currencies that would rise in price.
Despite the charges on the trio regarding transactions made on exchange and not on a traditional financial market, the case will still be treated as insider trading. Though Nikhil and Ishan were arrested, Ramani fled the authorities are tracing his whereabouts.
Speaking about the forgery, Coinbase stated they treat matters involving leaking the company’s confidential information seriously and won’t hesitate to take action against employees found guilty of such crimes.
Well, fraud in crypto assets is nothing new. However, the regulatory bodies of the US made it clear that fraudsters committing crimes such as insider trading or similar scams won’t be spared. As stated by Attorney Williams, the authorities will be relentlessly bringing forth fraudsters to the public’s notice and offer justice to victims.