The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced insider trading charges against a former Coinbase manager, who has been arrested and also faces criminal charges. The regulator identified nine tokens as securities in the complaint. US attorney Damian Williams says it is “the first ever insider trading case involving the cryptocurrency markets.”
SEC Charges Former Coinbase Administrator, Brother and Friend – 9 Marked Crypto Tokens as Securities
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday announced “insider trading charges against a former Coinbase product manager, brother, and friend.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) detailed: “While working at Coinbase, Ishan Wahi helped coordinate the platform’s public listing announcements that included crypto assets or tokens that would be made available for trading.” The regulator added that from at least June 2021 to April 2022:
In breach of his duties, Ishan repeatedly told the timing and content of the upcoming listing announcements to his brother, Nikhil Wahy, and his friend Sameer Ramani.
Nikhil Wahi and Ramani allegedly purchased at least 25 crypto assets, at least nine of which were securities, and then sold them shortly after the profit was announced. The insider trading scheme has long generated illicit profits totaling more than $1.1 million,” the Securities and Exchange Commission noted.
The nine crypto-asset securities named in Complaint of the Supreme Education Council They are AMP, RLY, DDX, XYO, RGT, LCX, POWR, DFX, and KROM.
The SCA has charged Ishan Wahi, Nikhil Wahi and Ramani with “violating the anti-fraud provisions of the securities laws”. The regulator seeks “permanent injunctive relief, removal with prior interest, and civil penalties.”
In a parallel action, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York also announced criminal charges against the three individuals on Thursday.
According to an announcement published by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the three are charged “in connection with a scheme of commitment to insider trading in crypto assets using confidential Coinbase information about crypto assets that was to be listed on Coinbase exchanges.”
Ishan Wahy and Nikhil Wahy were arrested Thursday morning in Seattle, Washington. However, Sameer Ramani is still at large.
US Attorney Damian Williams commented:
Just last month, it announced the first case of insider trading involving NFTs, and today it announced the first ever case of insider trading related to the cryptocurrency markets.
“The defendants conducted illicit transactions in at least 25 different crypto assets and generated illicit gains totaling approximately $1.5 million,” said FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll.
The Justice Department noted that all three individuals are charged with “two counts of conspiracy to electronic fraud and two counts of electronic fraud, each with a maximum sentence of 20 years.”
The Department of Justice announced its first-ever insider trading case involving non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in June. The defendant allegedly used NFT Opensea’s confidential information about the products to be featured on its homepage to “secretly purchase dozens of NFTs shortly before their appearance,” the Department of Justice detailed.
What do you think of the crypto insider trading case involving a former Coinbase manager? Let us know in the comments section below.
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