The brother of a former Coinbase product manager has pleaded guilty in a cryptocurrency insider trading case. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
DOJ’s First Crypto Insider Trading Case
His brother, Ishan Wahi, worked at Coinbase as a product manager assigned to the cryptocurrency trading platform’s asset listing team as of October 2020.
After receiving advice from his brother on what crypto assets Coinbase planned to list on its exchanges, Nikhil Wahi “used anonymous Ethereum blockchain wallets to acquire those crypto assets shortly before Coinbase publicly announced the listings,” the Justice Department detailed, elaborating:
“Following Coinbase’s public listing announcements, on multiple occasions, Nikhil Wahi sold the crypto assets for profit.”
The Justice Department explained that to hide his purchases, Nikhil Wahi “used accounts on centralized exchanges held in the name of others, and transferred funds, crypto assets, and profits from his scheme through multiple anonymous Ethereum blockchain wallets.”
Nikhil Wahi “also regularly created and used new Ethereum blockchain wallets without any prior transaction history to further conceal his involvement in the scheme,” the Justice Department added, noting:
“Nikhil Wahi, 26, of Seattle, Washington, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.”
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