- The US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York has charged a former Coinbase employee with insider trading.
- The Coinbase employee allegedly tipped off his brother and friend on new crypto listings on Coinbase’s exchanges.
- He is being charged along with his brother and friend.
In what could be the first case in which insider trading is occurring in the crypto industry, a former Coinbase employee has been charged.
US Attorney for New York’s Southern District, Damian Williams and Michael J. Driscoll Assistant Director-in Charge of the New York Field Office of FBI, were both present. have announced an indictment charging Ishan Wahi, a former product manager at Coinbase Global ‘with wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading in cryptocurrency assets.’ Mr. Wahi is being charged alongside his brother, Ishan Wahi, and friend, Sameer Ramani.
Ishan Wahi allegedly tipped off his brother and friend ‘regarding crypto assets that were going to be listed on Coinbase exchanges.’ The brothers were arrested earlier today in Seattle, Washington. They are being prepared to present themselves at the United States District Court, Western District of Washington. Sameer Ramani has not been arrested yet and is still at large.
Mr. Ishan wahi had a deep understanding of Coinbase Listings that was meant to remain confidential.
According to the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, new listings on Coinbase were kept confidential with the exchange ‘prohibited its employees from sharing that information with others, including by providing a “tip” to any person who might trade based on that information.’
From October 2020, Mr. Ishan Wahi worked as a product manager for one of Coinbase’s listing teams. He was involved with highly confidential crypto asset listing processes. Between August 2021 to May 2022, he was part of a private message channel for Coinbase employees. This channel was used to communicate with the people involved in the crypto asset listings process.
Insider Information on at Most 14 Occasions was a Benefit to the Trio
He had knowledge of these listings from June 2021 to April 2022 and shared confidential information between his brother and friend. Further details were provided by the charges.
Following tips from ISHAN WAHI NIKHIL WAHI & RAMANI, NIKHIL WAHI & RAMANI used anonymous Ethereum blockchain wallets in order to acquire crypto assets just before Coinbase announced it was considering or listing these assets on its exchanges. Following Coinbase’s public announcements about its crypto assets, RAMANI (NIKHIL WAHI) and RAMANI made a profit selling the crypto assets.
Reports state that the insider trading scheme was used on at least 14 occasions by the trio.