Former Coinbase Manager Sentenced To 2 Years For Insider Trading

  • Ishan Wahi, a former product manager at Coinbase, has been sentenced to two years in prison. 
  • A federal judge handed Wahi the sentence for his role in an insider trading scheme involving crypto tokens. 
  • Wahi’s brother was sentenced to ten months last year on wire fraud conspiracy charges in the same matter.

Ishan Wahi, the former product manager at Coinbase, has been handed a 24-month prison sentence by a federal court in New York for his role in one of the first insider trading cases in the crypto industry. Wahi’s sentencing comes almost ten months after he was arrested and charged by the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

The Ex-Coinbase Employee Will Likely Be Deported

According to a report by Bloomberg, Judge Loretta Preska of the Manhattan Federal Court handed Ishan Wahi a two-year sentence in federal prison for perpetrating an insider trading scheme with crypto tokens. The Judge highlighted a “massive abuse” of Coinbase’s trust on Wahi’s part during the 10-month period where he used confidential information to purchase tokens that were scheduled to be listed on the crypto exchange, making $1.5 million in the process. The judge noted that it was not a one-time event. 

I’m very sorry for my actions. My position in the company gave me access to confidential information. I knew it was wrong.”

Wahi’s sentencing comes nearly three months after he pled guilty earlier this year to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He initially entered a non-guilty plea to the charges brought by the Justice Department in July last year. In parallel action, the SEC charged Wahi and his associates including his brother Nikhil Wahi, with violating the antifraud provisions of the securities laws at the time. Nikhil Wahi pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in September 2022. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison in January this year. 

Ishan Wahi has been ordered to surrender by June 21, 2023, to begin serving his sentence at the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution in New Jersey. His sentence will be followed by two years of supervised release. As per Bloomberg, the former Coinbase product manager will likely be deported to India. Wahi’s sentencing comes less than a week after an OpenSea executive was convicted by a federal grand jury in New York in what was described as the first case of insider trading in the crypto industry.

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