Summary: The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) charged former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi, his brother Nikhil Wahi and Sameer Ramani with wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading in cryptocurrency assets, according to a press release Thursday.  The charges claim that the three aforementioned people used confidential ...

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) charged former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi, his brother Nikhil Wahi and Sameer Ramani with wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading in cryptocurrency assets, according to a press release Thursday. 

The charges claim that the three aforementioned people used confidential information obtained by Coinbase to make illegal trades on at least 25 different crypto assets and realized “ill-gotten gains” equaling approximately $1.5 million. The cryptocurrencies traded included TRIBE, ALCX, XYO, GALA, ENS, POWR and others, according to the press release. 

On at least 14 separate occasions beginning at least in June 2021 and continuing through April 2022, Ishan Wahi knew in advance what cryptocurrencies Coinbase was planning to release on their exchange, giving Wahi and his associates an unfair trading advantage. Both Wahis and Ramani allegedly purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars worth in crypto before the asset listing was actually published. 

To conceal their purchases, the Wahi brothers and Ramani used accounts with different names to complete all account activities including buying and selling crypto and transferring funds out. 

The Wahi brothers were arrested in Seattle Thursday morning, while Ramani was charged but remains at large. Unfortunately for Ishan Wahi, this wasn’t his first encounter with law enforcement, as he was on their radar for months and was even stopped from boarding a plane to India in mid-May. Coinbase on the other hand, will not be charged, the report confirmed. 

“Our message with these charges is clear: fraud is fraud is fraud, whether it occurs on the blockchain or on Wall Street,” said U.S. attorney Damian Williams. “And the Southern District of New York will continue to be relentless in bringing fraudsters to justice, wherever we may find them.”

Here is a list of all the charges the alleged criminals will face, according to the press release: 

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Author: Tyler Irvin