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Coinbase has won $470,000 restitution in a crypto insider trading case.
According to a New York District Court filing on 6 April 2023, Nikhil Wahi has been ordered to start making restitution payments whilst in prison.
Nikhil Wahi is the brother of former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi. Ishan Wahi had worked on Coinbase's asset-listing team and had advanced knowledge of the timings and public announcements of assets the exchange planned to list.
He also had access to a private messaging channel used to discuss launch dates and timelines.
Wahi was accused of tipping off his brother Nikhil Wahi and friend Sameer Ramani with confidential information, leading to profits of US$1.5 million.
The case is recognised as the first crypto insider trading case.
In September, Wahi pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a case that has been labelled as the first insider trading case involving cryptocurrencies.
“I knew that Sameer Ramani and Nikhil Wahi would use that information to make trading decisions,” Ishan Wahi admitted during a court hearing on Feb 7.
“It was wrong to misappropriate and disseminate Coinbase’s property,” he added.
Nikhil's restitution must be paid in full within 20 years of his release from prison. The amount represents how much Coinbase spent o legal fees relating to the Department of Justice’s investigation.
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