After pleading guilty earlier this year, former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi was sentenced to 2 years in prison in a landmark case for insider trading with cryptocurrencies.
The sentence exceeds the 10-month prison sentence of Ishan’s brother – Nikhil Wahi – with whom he conspired for the crime.
Two years for crypto insider trading
According to a report by ReutersIshan Wahi was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday.
The sentence follows a guilty plea by Wahi in February to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Preska said his scheme was a “massive abuse” of the trust of Coinbase – America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange that has been the subject of a plethora of customer and government lawsuits over the past of the past year.
Wahi was arrested and charged by the Department of Justice last July for giving his brother – alongside his friend Sameer Ramani – information about upcoming coin listings on Coinbase that had not yet been made public. The analysis showed that listings on major crypto exchanges often have a dramatic effect on the price of an asset
The group’s scheme earned them about $1.5 million in total from 55 different token announcements between June 2021 and April 2022, according to prosecutors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Noah Solowiejczyk said during the hearing that the ten months of consistent tipping demonstrated that Wahi’s actions were “not a one-time mistake.” Meanwhile, Judge Preska added that Wahi and the co-defendants’ attempts to cover up their actions proved they knew what they were doing was wrong.
A “big mistake”
“I made a huge mistake that will follow me for the rest of my life,” Wahi said. His comment echoed that of his brother Nikhil from January, who said his mistake was “something I will have to live with forever”, after To plead guilty at their respective charges.
Ishan Wahi initially pleaded not guilty to send charges of fraud soon after they were announced, but eventually followed his brother’s lead with a to plead guilty in February.
Wahi asked for a sentence not exceeding that of his brother in court documents, citing other insider trading cases where offenders received short jail time. On the other hand, prosecutors asked for Wahi to be sentenced to 3 years in prison to set an example for other crypto exchange insiders who misuse their insider information.
The OpenSea chief product officer was also charged with NFT insider trading in June – but the ex-employee has since deposit to have these charges dropped.
Binance Free $100 (Exclusive): Use this link to sign up and receive $100 free and 10% off Binance Futures fees for the first month (terms).
PrimeXBT Special Offer: Use this link to sign up and enter code CRYPTOPOTATO50 to receive up to $7,000 on your deposits.