Business In News
- Ishan Wahi, an ex-Coinbase product manager, has pleaded guilty to insider trading charges.
- Wahi initially pleaded not guilty to the wire fraud charges filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Lawyers representing Wahi had filed a motion yesterday to dismiss the securities fraud charges brought by the SEC.
- The case made headlines last year as the first insider trading case involving cryptocurrencies.
Ishan Wahi, the former product manager at Coinbase Global Inc who was accused of insider trading last year, has pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The insider trading charges were filed by the U.S. Department of Justice after the first crypto insider trading case came to light in July 2022.
Wahi shared confidential info about token listing on Coinbase
According to a report by Reuters, prosecutors at the court hearing said that Wahi shared confidential information from the exchange with his brother Nikhil Wahi, and one Sameer Ramani. This information included details about upcoming token listings on Coinbase. Wahi’s brother, along with Ramani, would buy tokens ahead of their listing based on insider information from Ishan.
I knew that Sameer Ramani and Nikhil Wahi would use that information to make trading decisions. It was wrong to misappropriate and disseminate Coinbase’s property.”
As per a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in July last year, Ishan Wahi regularly supplied insider information to his accomplices between June 2021 and April 2022. They used the confidential information to buy and store digital assets in Ethereum wallets ahead of at least 14 listing announcements by Coinbase. The trio netted $1.5 million from insider trading.
Nikhil Wahi previously pleaded guilty to a wire fraud conspiracy charge and was sentenced to 10 months in prison last month. Sameer Ramani remains at large. News of Ishan Wahi’s confession comes just a day after his attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the charge brought by the SEC against him. The attorneys argued that the SEC was “wrong” to describe the tokens involved in the case as “securities”, making the securities fraud charge against Wahi inapplicable.