Coinbase To Receive $470k From Wahi Brothers

Under the mandatory victim restitution act, Coinbase will be reimbursed for expenses and lost wages from the DOJ investigation into the Wahi brothers’ insider trading scheme

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Coinbase will receive $470,000 from Nikhil and Ishan Wahi in restitution to cover “five grand jury subpoenas requests (including subparts) for documents and information” and lost wages of employees who had to focus on the Department of Justice’s Special Investigations and Security Departments investigation. 

The exchange’s lawyers submitted a letter to the courts last week asking to be reimbursed for expenses related to the Department of Justice’s investigation into the alleged insider traders. 

“While serving the term of the imprisonment, the defendant shall make installment payments toward restitution and may do so through the Bureau of Prison Inmate Financial Responsibility Plan. Any unpaid amount upon release from prison will be paid in installments of at least 10 percent of the defendant’s gross income on the 15th day of each month,” the court document states.   

Coinbase asked for the amount under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act, which is meant to ensure that victims are paid back for lost income and expenses that occur from investigations into offenses including wire fraud. 

Ishan, a former Coinbase employee, and his brother Nikhil were accused of trading over 20 crypto assets in a scheme that operated from June 2021 to April 2022. The brothers and their accomplice Sameer Ramani netted over $1 million in profits. 

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

The two are also nearing a settlement agreement with the SEC, which claims that the assets traded were securities. Both Coinbase and the Wahi brothers have denied this claim. 

The SEC has until June 15 to review and discuss the settlement, and the Wahi brothers will then have until July 15 to reply.


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