Ishan Wahi, a former product manager at Coinbase, was sentenced to two years in prison in a historical case for insider trading involving cryptocurrencies after entering a guilty plea earlier this year, according to a recent statement from the Department of Justice.
Ex-Coinbase product manager faces 2 years jail term
He’ll spend over twice as much time in prison as his brother and fellow conspirator, Nikhil Wahi. The punishment is longer than Nikhil Wahi’s 10-month prison term for their role in the criminal conspiracy.
In July 2022, the former product manager of the American cryptocurrency exchange was detained and accused of insider trading and wire fraud for providing his brother and another man with exclusive information concerning upcoming crypto listings.
The report claims that Wahi was able to buy incoming assets using his knowledge of them and then quickly sell them for enormous gains. When a new coin or token is listed on the cryptocurrency platform, its value significantly skyrockets, an occurrence referred to as “the Coinbase effect.”
However, according to the investigators, the men made over $1 million trading using Wahi’s knowledge between June 2021 and April 2022.
It’s worth noting that the Indian national attempted to exit the country after being questioned by Coinbase, according to the Department of Justice. However, American law enforcement prevented him from boarding a flight to India.
This serves as the second insider trading lawsuit involving cryptocurrencies filed by the DOJ. On May 3, a decision was made in the first of these cases related to the former head of product at the non-fungible token (NFT) platform OpenSea.
Nate Chastain was found guilty of money laundering and wire fraud for engaging in profitable transactions while obtaining insider knowledge regarding the NFTs that would be made available on OpenSea. Although Chastain has not yet been punished, the maximum sentence that could be given to him is 40 years.
Ishan Wahi shows remorse for his actions
Ishan Wahi, however, expressed regret for his actions and their impact on his friends and family, some of whom were present in court, during the hearing on Tuesday.
“I made a huge mistake that will follow me for the rest of my life.”
Meanwhile, Ishan Wahi, 32, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced to prison and ordered to forfeit various crypto assets obtained through the scheme.