For his role in a plot to trade on inside knowledge about when the cryptocurrency exchange would announce new coins, a former Coinbase Global Inc. product manager’s brother received ten months in prison.
Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams called this case the first-ever insider trading case involving cryptocurrency markets. Nikhil Wahi pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud in September. Wahi made almost $900,000 in 40 different digital coins by using tips from his brother, according to prosecutors.
Preska also ordered Wahi to return the $892,500 he made from the trades in addition to his prison sentence. He was sentenced to two years probation as well.
Wahi should face as much as 16 months in jail, according to prosecutors. After completing his sentence, Wahi is subject to deportation to India. He did, however, hope to avoid jail.
Good Intentions – Wahi’s Main Defense
In July, they arrested Wahi and his brother, Ishan Wahi, a former Coinbase employee. Ishan Wahi pleaded not guilty. Ishan Wahi’s buddy Sameer Ramani was also accused. He hasn’t shown up in court and isn’t in US custody.
Wahi wasn’t driven by avarice, according to defense lawyer Priya Chaudhry. On the other hand, he intended to return to India and assist his parents in their retirement by providing them with reimbursement of his education funds.
Her client, according to Chaudhry, is a delightful young man who did the wrong thing for a righteous reason.
Wahi’s mother and a group of his relatives attended the sentencing hearing. She came all the way from India.
Users can buy and sell more than 150 cryptocurrencies with Coinbase, the biggest US digital currency trading platform. As a result, shortly after they are listed on the exchange, it is frequently flooded with interest. Nikhil Wahi is accused of taking advantage of his brother’s tips by using unidentified Ethereum wallets between July 2021 and May 2022 to purchase cryptocurrencies. He completed the task before Coinbase announced its listing on the exchange.