Breaking: Ex-Coinbase Manager Bags 2-Year Jail Term for Insider Trading

Former Coinbase Global Inc employee Ishan Wahi has finally been sentenced to two years imprisonment for his involvement in insider trading. His judgement was pronounced by United States District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan Federal Court. The judge has ordered Wahi to surrender by June 21st by 2pm in Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution in New Jersey.  

Wahi is a former product manager at the American cryptocurrency exchange. He leveraged his position at Coinbase to make huge profits for new token listings before they went public. He was able to achieve this feat together with his brother Nikhil Wahi and an associate Sameer Ramani. Altogether, they traded 55 digital assets between June 2021 and April 2022. In the end, the profit they all made amounted to a total of about $1.5 million.

They were arrested in July 2022 by authorities when they were trying to catch a flight to India. In the end, the brothers pleaded guilty to the charges against them while Ishan agreed to a sentence of between 36 and 47 months. He cited other insider trading cases that got little or no prison sentence. When Nikhi pled guilty in September 2022, he got a sentence of 10 months. Ramani is still missing and is yet to be apprehended. 

Several prosecutors insisted that Ishan got a sentence longer than three years so that he would serve as a lesson to others who may be considering committing a similar crime. So far, this is the second insider trading case that has been been escalated by US regulators over the past few years.

With the second being the insider trading allegations levied against OpenSea’s Nathaniel Chastain. Just like Wahi, Chastain often buy Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) billed to be listed and featured on the platform’s front page. In all, Chastain raked in thousands of dollars in illegal profits.

Coinbase Insider Trading Case to Set Rare Precedent

The sentence handed down to Ishan Wahi is a very significant one as it will serve as a major precedent upon which the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can push for crackdown for other crypto industry insiders committing related offences.

Despite its complexity as it is featuring digital collectibles, the OpenSea’s Chastain’s case may see a more direct settlement in the near term.

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