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First crypto insider trading prosecution in the US charges three Indians

An ex-product manager at Coinbase Global, along with two other individuals, have been charged by US authorities in a cryptocurrency insider trading case.

Ishan Wahi, a former product manager, and his brother Nikhil Wahi, according to reports, were detained in Seattle. According to reports, Sameer Ramani is one of the people still at large.

It is the first cryptocurrency-related insider trading case. Before Coinbase Global Inc. was listed on the cryptocurrency exchange, Ishan Wahi is accused of giving his brother Nikhil Wahi, 26, and his friend Sameer Ramani, 33, insider knowledge.

According to a statement from the US government, the three accused were charged with wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud in relation to a plan to engage in insider trading in cryptocurrencies.

While announcing the development, US attorney Damian Williams said: ‘Today’s charges are a further reminder that Web3 is not a law-free zone. Our message with these charges is clear: fraud is fraud is fraud, whether it occurs on the blockchain or on Wall Street.’

According to Michael J. Driscoll, assistant director of the FBI, the claim regarding the cryptocurrency exchange ‘still constitutes insider trading’.

‘The defendants made illegal trades in at least 25 different crypto assets and realized ill-gotten gains totalling approximately $1.5 million,’ Driscoll said while informing that the agency was committed to protecting the ‘integrity of all financial markets – both ‘old’ and ‘new’.’

One of the biggest bitcoin exchanges in the world is allegedly Coinbase. The US government was informed that Ishan Wahi was the product manager for the Coinbase asset listing team and had ‘deep and extensive knowledge’ of the crypto assets Coinbase planned to list.

The US government informed Ishan Wani, 32, had acquired a one-way flight to India as he was to be interviewed by Coinbase over the alleged fraud.

In order for them to successfully trade in cryptocurrency assets ahead of Coinbase’s public listing, the US government said that Ishan Wahi sent tips to his brother Nikhil and colleague Sameer Ramani. They allegedly used anonymous Ethereum blockchain wallets to buy cryptocurrency.


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