Former Coinbase Manager and Two Others Accused of Conspiracy Using Insider Information

The logo of Coinbase Global Inc, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, is displayed on the jumbotron of the Nasdaq MarketSite and others in Times Square in New York, U.S. April 14, 2021.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

Three people have been charged with the first-ever crypto insider trading tipping scheme. according to U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams has indicted Ishan Wahi, a former product manager at Coinbase, his brother Nikhil Wahi and friend Samir Ramani in an electronic communications conspiracy and electronic communications fraud in connection with an insider trading scheme in cryptocurrencies. The allegations allege that the individuals planned to use Coinbase’s confidential information about which crypto assets were to be listed on the Coinbase exchanges.

The release also states that Ishan Wahi tried to flee to India ahead of a scheduled interview with Coinbase’s security department, but law enforcement prevented him from leaving.

“Today’s allegations are another reminder that Web3 is not a law-free zone,” Williams said in a release. “Our message with these allegations is clear: fraud is fraud, whether it occurs on the blockchain or on Wall Street. The Southern District of New York will continue to relentlessly prosecute fraudsters wherever we find them. “

Ishan Wahi and Nikhil Wahi were arrested on Thursday morning in Seattle, while Ramani remains at large.

Correction: Damian Williams is the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In an earlier version, his name was misspelled.