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Three Indians Charged for First Crypto Insider Trading in the US

In the first-ever case of Crypto Insider Trading, two brothers and their friend were charged in the US.

A former Product Manager at Coinbase, Ishan Wahi, and his brother Nikhil Wahi were arrested in Seattle. However, the third person Sameer Ramani, their friend, is absconding.

As per reports, Ishan Wahi leaked insider information to his brother Nikhil Wahi and friend Sameer Ramani about the forthcoming announcements related to cryptocurrencies before Coinbase Global Inc was listed on the crypto exchange.

In a statement by the US Government, “the three were charged with wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud connection with a scheme to commit insider trading in cryptocurrency.”

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also alleged that Nikhil Wahi, 26, and Sameer Ramani, 33 purchased and sold at least 25 crypto assets, 9 of which have been identified as securities, according to the agency.

US Attorney Damian Williams said, ” Today’s charges are a further reminder that Web3 is not a law-free zone. Our message with these charges is clear: fraud is fraud is fraud, whether it occurs on a blockchain or on a Wall Street”.

Nikhil and Sameer used Ethereum blockchains wallets to acquire the assets. They made illegal trades in at least 25 different crypto assets and realized illicit gains amounting to $1.5 million approximately, as per the prosecutors.

Being the Product Manager at the Coinbase asset listing team, Ishan Wahi had all the “detailed and advanced knowledge” about the cryptocurrencies that Coinbase was planning to list.

Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Crypto is not a legal tender and is subject to market risks. Readers are advised to seek expert advice and read offer document(s) along with related important literature on the subject carefully before making any kind of investment whatsoever. Crypto market predictions are speculative and any investment made shall be at the sole cost and risk of the readers.