February 1, 2023
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Ex-Coinbase manager’s brother gets 10 month-sentence in insider trading case

NEW YORK — The brother of a former Coinbase World, Inc. product supervisor was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 months in jail after pleading responsible in what US prosecutors have known as the primary insider trading case involving cryptocurrency.

Nikhil Wahi admitted to creating trades based mostly on confidential info from Coinbase, one of many world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, when he pleaded responsible in September to a wire fraud conspiracy cost.

Prosecutors mentioned Ishan Wahi, the previous product supervisor, shared the knowledge together with his brother and their pal Sameer Ramani about new digital belongings that Coinbase was planning to let customers commerce.

Ishan Wahi has pleaded not responsible, and Ramani is at giant.

Prosecutors mentioned Mr. Wahi made almost $900,000 of revenue by illegally trading forward of 40 totally different Coinbase bulletins. They really helpful a 10- to 16-month sentence.

At a sentencing listening to in Manhattan federal court docket, US District Decide Loretta Preska mentioned his crime was (*10*)

The sentencing got here as US prosecutors and regulators ramp up their scrutiny of cryptocurrency corporations and executives.

“Today’s sentence makes clear that the cryptocurrency markets are not lawless,” Damian Williams, the highest federal prosecutor in Manhattan, mentioned in a press release.

Final month, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not responsible to eight counts of fraud and conspiracy over the collapse of his now-bankrupt alternate, a Coinbase rival.

The crypto sector can be struggling, after the values of bitcoin BTC=BTSPand different digital belongings plunged final 12 months as rates of interest and worries of an financial downturn rose.

Coinbase mentioned on Tuesday it could minimize about 20% of its workforce, or 950 staff, in its third spherical of layoffs since final 12 months.

Mr. Wahi’s mom and about one dozen different relations and mates attended his sentencing.

He informed Ms. Preska he had traded in an effort to repay his mother and father for funding his US faculty schooling. “I wanted to help my parents, but instead I put them through great suffering,” mentioned Mr. Wahi, whose lawyer had urged Ms. Preska to not impose a jail sentence. “I’m very sorry for what I did.” — Reuters

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