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In: Cryptocurrency

Ishan Wahi, a former Product Manager at Coinbase, has been sentenced to jail for financial crimes. He was arrested for insider trading in July last year.

Coinbase Ex-Manager Receives Two Years Jail Sentence

According to a report from Reuters, on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, US District Judge Loretta Preska passed a sentence in a Manhattan federal court after Ishan Wahi pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in February.

Before February, Ishan Wahi, who was reported to have provided his brother Nikhil Wahi and one Sameer Ramani with insider trading information, initially refuted the allegations thrown at him and pleaded not guilty.

An earlier investigation by the New York Southern District established that on multiple occasions between June 2021 and April 2022, Ishan Wahi breached his duties of trust and confidence to Coinbase after disclosing confidential trading information that he learned in the course of his employment with the crypto exchange.

In July 2022, New York prosecutors charged Ishan Wahi and his brother Nikhil alongside Sameer Ramani, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud using confidential information from Coinbase. The prosecutors had concluded that Ishan Wahi’s trading tips were instrumental to the convictions.

Wahi and his accomplices made nearly $1.5 million in profits by illegally trading 55 digital assets ahead of Coinbase’s official listings and announcements. Ishan Wahi’s brother, Nikhil, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy charges in September 2022 and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

A Warning For Potential Bad Actors

Ishan Wahi’s legal team had requested a reduced prison sentence, similar to his brother Nikhil’s. They cited previous insider trading cases that resulted in little or no jail time.

However, New York prosecutors had previously recommended a sentence of over three years for Ishan. The purpose was to deter other individuals who possess confidential corporate trading information and may be tempted to misuse it.

Ishan Wahi received the minimum prison sentence of two years for insider trading, despite facing a potential 20-year sentence for each count. This shows how severe insider trading is and sends a message to others considering this illegal practice.

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