Former Coinbase Product Manager Given 2 Years in Prison for Insider Trading

  • Ishan Wahi was sentenced to 24 months in prison for his illegal use of confidential information he obtained during his time at Coinbase.
  • Wahi, his brother, and a friend, had allegedly made around $1.5 million between June 2021 and April 2022 by purchasing digital assets before their Coinbase listing was announced.


Ishan Wahi, a former product manager at Coinbase Global, was sentenced to two years in prison by a federal judge over allegations of insider trading, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a press release on 9 May.

According to the publication, Judge Loretta Preska sentenced Wahi to 24 months in prison for his use of confidential information he obtained during his time at Coinbase, which helped him, his brother, and a friend profit off of new token listings on the exchange. Prosecutors had alleged that the tree individuals had made around $1.5 million between June 2021 and April 2022 by trading 55 digital assets before their listings on Coinbase were announced.

Judge Preska gave Wahi until 21 June to surrender to authorities and serve his sentence at the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Insitution, after which he will be subject to two years of supervised release for each of his two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Ishan Wahi and his brother, Nikhil Wahi, were arrested by U.S. authorities back in July 2022 while they were trying to escape the country and flee to India. Nikhil pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in September 2022, and was sentenced to 10 months in prison this January, while his brother Ishan tried to fight the case. He, however, also pleaded guilty in February to two counts of consipracy to commit wire fraud. Their friend, Sameer Ramani, who also participated in the scheme remains at large.

This is the second case of crypto-related insider trading that was brought by the DoJ. Last week, the former head of product at non-fungible token (NFT) markeplace OpenSea, Nate Chastain, was convicted of money laundering and wire fraud. The former executive allegedly used his insider knowledge of which tokens would be listed on the marketplace to make profitable trades. While not yet sentenced, the individual faces a maximum prison time of 40 years.

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