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Former Coinbase staffer jailed for “massive abuse” of trust

A former Coinbase product manager has been sentenced to two years jail for insider trading at the big crypto exchange.

Ishan Wahi passed information about imminent crypto listings to his brother and friend during the crypto bull run in 2020-2021. The pair used the information to buy assets cheaply, before those assets inevitably jumped in value after being listed on Coinbase.

The trio made $1.5m on 55 assets over the space of 11 months.

In sentencing Wahi – who pleaded guilty –  US District Judge Loretta Preska said the scheme was a “massive abuse” of Coinbase’s trust

In attempting to mitigate his sentence, Wahi said he was remorseful.

“I made a huge mistake that will follow me for the rest of my life,” he said.

The actual charges were “conspiracy to commit wire fraud”. In September, Wahi’s brother Nikhil was also charged with wire fraud, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 10 months in jail.

The friend involved in the fraudulent behaviour, Sameer Ramani, fled prosecutors and remains on the run.

In another high-profile case of crypto market fraud, NFT exchange OpenSea’s former head of product Nathaniel Chastain was last week found guilty of insider trading.

Chastain bought NFTs which he subsequently featured on OpenSea’s homepage, knowing that to do so would increase their value.

Both Chastain and Wahi were involved in product development, both used their roles at popular crypto platforms for personal gain, and both are 32 years old.

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Polemos staff

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