Home Technology 2 Indian brothers plead not guilty in US crypto insider trading scheme

2 Indian brothers plead not guilty in US crypto insider trading scheme

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2 Indian brothers plead not guilty in US crypto insider trading scheme
2 Indian brothers plead not guilty in US crypto insider trading scheme Image source RepresentationalFile

FILE – The Bitcoin logo is seen on the display screen of a cryptocurrency ATM in Salem, NH on February 9, 2021. A bipartisan group of senators has proposed a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies. It is the latest attempt by Congress to formulate ideas on how to oversee a multi-billion dollar industry that has recently been ravaged by collapsing prices and halting operations by lenders. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

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Ishan Wahi, 32, a former chief product officer of cryptocurrency platform Coinbase Global, along with his brother Nikhil Wahi, 26, have pleaded not guilty to federal insider trading charges, news outlets reported.

The attorney representing Ishan Wahi said the charges against him should be “dismissed” because insider trading must involve securities or commodities, which it does not, according to the reports.

Last month, US authorities charged the brothers and their Indian-American friend Sameer Ramani, 33, from Houston with conspiring to wire fraud using confidential information from crypto exchange Coinbase and won $1.5 million. illicit silver dollars.

The Wahi brothers were arrested in Seattle, Washington, where they lived, and presented in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Ramani is still at large. Ishan, Nikhil and Ramani are considering a maximum sentence of 20 years each.

Ishan worked at Coinbase as a product manager assigned to a Coinbase asset listing team starting in October 2020.

He was involved in the highly confidential process of listing crypto assets on Coinbase exchanges and had detailed and advanced knowledge of the crypto assets Coinbase planned to list and the timing of public announcements regarding those crypto asset listings.

According to US authorities, on at least 14 occasions, Ishan knew in advance both that Coinbase planned to list particular crypto assets and the timing of its public announcements of those asset listings.

He hijacked this confidential information from Coinbase by tipping his brother, Nikhil, or Ramani, “so that they can make profitable trades in these crypto assets ahead of Coinbase’s public announcements.”

The defendants carried out illegal transactions in at least 25 different crypto assets and made ill-gotten gains totaling approximately $1.5 million.

To conceal their purchases of crypto assets ahead of Coinbase listing announcements, Nikhil and Ramani used accounts on centralized exchanges held in other people’s names, and transferred funds, crypto assets, and the proceeds of their scheme. through several anonymous Ethereum blockchain wallets.

“Nikhil and Ramani also routinely created and used new Ethereum blockchain wallets without any prior transaction history to further conceal their involvement in the scheme,” the official said. justice department.

Coinbase responded publicly on Twitter, saying that any Coinbase employee who discloses confidential company information will be “immediately terminated and referred to the appropriate authorities (potentially for criminal prosecution).”

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