Nikhil Wahithe brother of former Coinbase Global Inc COIN product manager Ishan Wahihas reportedly admitted in court to making trades based on confidential information about the cryptocurrency exchange.
What Happened: On Monday, Nikhil Wahi pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy charges — pressed by the Department of Justice in July — in what US prosecutors have called the first cryptocurrency insider trading case, Reuters reported.
The plea happened during a virtual court session before the US District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan.
Nikhil Wahi, who initially pleaded not guilty last month, said he understood his plea change meant he would eventually be deported from the US and “lose everything that I have worked for,” according to Reuters.
Why It Matters: Ishan Wahi, however, has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to appear in court in March next year. Prosecutors claim that he disclosed secret information regarding new tokens before their official Coinbase listing announcement. That allegedly allowed his brother and friend, Sameer Ramani, to go long and profit from it from June 2021 to April 2022 on at least 14 opportunities.
The trio later used anonymous Ethereum ETH/USD wallets to acquire the soon-to-be-listed assets, which were sold after the Coinbase listing announcements, generating at least $1.5 million in profits.
“I knew that it was wrong to receive Coinbase’s confidential information and make trades based on that confidential information,” Nikhil Wahi said in court.
Photo courtesy: Coinbase