Ex-Coinbase Employee Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading Conspiracy

Former Coinbase Employee Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud Conspiracy

• The United States Department of Justice announced that former Coinbase employee Ishan Wahi pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
• Wahi was charged with „wire fraud conspiracy in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading in cryptocurrency assets“ and tipped off his brother and associate regarding crypto assets going to be listed on Coinbase exchanges.
• Ishan Wahi is scheduled to be sentenced on May 10 and faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, while his brother Nikihil was sentenced to 10 months in January and slapped with a fine of $892,500 after pleading guilty.

Details Of Insider Trading Scheme

Ishan Wahi began working on Coinbase’s asset listing team in October 2020, which gave him access to information about which cryptocurrency Coinbase would offer on its platform. He provided this confidential information regarding the listings to his brother Nikhil and associate Sameer Ramani, allowing them execute profitable trades secretly. The three accused were estimated to be involved in trades that used information about 14 listings and generated around $1.5 million in profits.

Government Crackdown On Crypto Industry

The case involving the Wahi brother and their associate marks the first insider trading case involving cryptocurrencies and is part of federal authorities‘ global onslaught on the industry. Nicolas Roos, one of the assistant U.S. attorneys who prosecuted Ishan Wahi, is also leading the DOJ’s case against Sam Bankman-Fried.

Reaction From U.S Attorney

Damian Williams, the U.S attorney for the Southern District of New York said: “Whether it occurs in the equity markets or the crypto markets, stealing confidential business information for your own personal profit or the profit of others is a serious federal crime.“


This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be legal advice