Coinbase Asks for $470,000 To Cover Fees, Costs From Insider Trading Case

Coinbase said it hopes to recover losses incurred due to investigations by the Department of Justice and the SEC


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Coinbase requested $470,000 to cover costs and fees stemming from investigations into former Coinbase employee Ishan Wahi and his brother and accomplice, Nikhil. Both are accused of insider trading and wire fraud.

In a letter dated April 3, a lawyer representing Coinbase asked for restitution to cover the costs it said occurred during the investigations by the Department of Justice and the SEC.

The total amount would fall under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act which states that victims are entitled to both expenses and lost income from investigation participation of some offenses — including wire fraud.

Over $400,000 would cover ”five grand jury subpoenas served on Coinbase with 65 total requests (including subparts) for documents and information” from the DOJ’s investigation. Additionally, the exchange requested $60,000 in lost wages for employees who had to work alongside the Special Investigation and Security Departments of the DOJ. 

The Wahi brothers and Sameer Ramani were accused of trading over 25 crypto assets on Coinbase between June 2021 and April 2022, which allegedly netted them a profit of over $1 million.

Ishan Wahi faces sentencing on May 9. Nikhil was sentenced in January to 10 months in prison.

In a joint notice filed earlier this week, lawyers from both sides announced an “agreement in principle” to resolve the SEC’s claims that the brothers traded securities — which both the Wahis and Coinbase have denied.

In a blog post last year, Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal wrote, “Coinbase does not list securities on its platform. Period.” 

According to the document filed with the court, the SEC asked for its opposition deadline — originally set for April 6 — to be pushed back to June 15, which would give both parties time to discuss the settlement and review it. The Wahi brothers will have until July 15 to reply.

David Miller of Greenberg Traurig, which represents Ishan Wahi, had no comment when contacted. Nikhil Wahi’s counsel, Priya Chaudhry of ChaudhryLaw PLLC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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