Ex-Coinbase Product Manager Ishan Wahi has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges leveled in opposition to him by the U.S. Department of Justice earlier than a Manhattan federal court docket on Aug. 3.

Ishan was first arraigned earlier than the court docket final month on charges of insider trading. He was mentioned to have divulged details about cryptocurrencies that may be listed on Coinbase to his brother Nikhil and buddy Sameer Ramani.

The illicit trading is claimed to have made about $1.5 million in income between June 2021 and April 2022.  

The prosecuting counsel famous that the defendants used Ethereum-based wallets to purchase the belongings earlier than they have been listed. The belongings have been offered after they rose in worth following the itemizing.

Confidentiality of trading info

Ishan’s lawyer David Miller, in protection, claimed that ” the knowledge his consumer is accused of sharing was not confidential” since Coinbase launched a technique to trace at belongings it plans to record for trading.

A prosecutor Noah Solowiejczyk, countered the argument noting that the itemizing course of nonetheless ensures that the knowledge was nonpublic.  He acknowledged that the character of the insider trading cost nonetheless adopted as with earlier wire fraud instances, and therefore ought to not be dismissed.

Ishan, via his lawyer, claimed that the U.S. has no regulation for insider trading on cryptocurrencies. On this floor, the defendant requested for a dismissal of the case. The request was not thought of although the 2 brothers have been granted a bail of $1 million every.

The court docket has scheduled the following listening to for March 22, 2023.

Ishan, his brother Nikhil, and buddy Sameer, nonetheless have an ongoing case with the SEC for allegedly trading on securities. The SEC reported that 9 out of the 25 crypto belongings concerned within the crime are securities.

SEC investigating Coinbase

Following allegations of Wahi trading securities whereas at Coinbase, the alternate in defense distanced itself from itemizing or trading securities. It claimed that its rigorous itemizing course of was vetted by the SEC, and has served to maintain securities off the platform.

Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal reiterated in a tweet:

Despite Coinbase’s stance, the SEC launched an investigation over securities listings. The SEC is investigating if Americans have been allowed to commerce unregistered safety belongings on the Coinbase alternate platform.

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