• Ishan Wahi, an ex-Coinbase product manager, pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the first-ever insider trading case related to cryptocurrencies.
• He tipped off his brother and associate regarding crypto assets that were going to be listed on Coinbase exchanges.
• Federal authorities are cracking down on the cryptocurrency industry with this case as a part of their global onslaught.
Ishan Wahi Pleads Guilty
The United States Department of Justice announced that former Coinbase employee Ishan Wahi pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Wahi, along with his brother Nikhil and associate Sameer Ramani, was charged by the DOJ last year with “wire fraud conspiracy in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading in cryptocurrency assets.” Ishan Wahi is scheduled to be sentenced on May 10 and faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Insider Trading Scheme
Wahi tipped off his brother and associate “regarding crypto assets that were going to be listed on Coinbase exchanges.” According to reports by the New York Times, Mr. Wahi began working on Coinbase’s asset listing team in October 2020, which gave him access to information about which cryptocurrency Coinbase would offer on its platform. The price of a cryptocurrency tends to go up when a major exchange such as Coinbase announces it will list it. Ishan Wahi provided information regarding these listings to his brother Nikhil and associate Sameer Ramani. According to prosecutors, the data allowed Mr. Wahi’s co-accused to execute profitable trades secretly. It is estimated that they were involved in trades that used information about 14 listings and generated around $1.5 million in profits.
Sentencing For Brother
Ishan Wahi’s brother, Nikihil Wahi, was sentenced