Coinbase Wins $470K In First Crypto Insider Trading Case

Coinbase Wins $470K In First Crypto Insider Trading Case

Table of Contents

The crypto firm had sued the brother of a former employee for engaging in insider trading and profiting off it. 

Coinbase To Receive Restitution

According to the latest reports, the crypto exchange platform Coinbase has emerged victorious in its lawsuit against the brother of a former employee. The crypto firm brought charges of insider trading against this person and was able to get a favorable ruling in court, which has declared a $470,000 restitution fee for the latter. 

Last year, Coinbase filed a lawsuit against Nikhil Wahi with a New York District Court. Wahi, who is the brother of a former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi had allegedly been committing insider trading. Nikhil Wahi pled guilty to the charges and accepted that he had initiated and participated in trades based on confidential information accessed through his brother. 

First Insider Trading Case In Crypto

Coinbase prosecutors argued that Ishan conveyed information regarding upcoming cryptocurrency listings on the exchange. Since newly listed cryptocurrencies experienced a price surge, Nikhil and another associate of the brothers, Sameer Ramani, would buy up these cryptos prior to the public announcement of these listings. Nikhil himself was able to earn around $800,000 from his insider trading at Coinbase. 

As what is believed to be the first case of insider trading involving crypto, Wahi has now been sentenced to more prison time. In the meantime, he will also have to make restitution payments, which represent the total amount the crypto exchange spent on legal services related to the Department of Justice investigation in this case. 

According to the court rulings, Wahi will have to pay the entire amount of the restitution ($470,000) within 20 years of his release from prison. His earnings from the insider trading would not help him out here, as he had to forfeit all the funds to the U.S. government as a part of his sentencing. 

SEC’s Charges Against Wahi Brothers

The two brothers and Ramani were also sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on charges of violating securities laws and participating in fraudulent activities. However, Coinbase had defended the trio in the SEC case, claiming that although the defendants’ conduct was condemnable, the SEC did not have any jurisdiction to file a lawsuit. The Coinbase team claimed that the tokens involved could not be considered a security as they did not pass the Howey test. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. 

You may like