Former Coinbase Manager Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

A New York judge sentenced Ishan Wahi, though the Wahi brothers and the SEC have yet to reach a settlement

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Ishan Wahi, a former manager at Coinbase, was sentenced to two years by a judge in a New York federal court.

The case is one of the first of its kind where the defendant was prosecuted for insider trading in cryptocurrency. 

Wahi pled guilty in February to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Prior to the sentencing, Wahi was facing a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. 

Officials arrested Wahi in July of last year. He previously sought a 10-month prison term–the same length that his brother, Nikhil Wahi, received in a plea bargain.

Nikhil Wahi pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and received the 10-month sentencing in January 2023. 

Both Wahi’s and Sameer Ramini–a friend–were accused of trading at least 25 crypto assets on Coinbase using Wahi’s insider knowledge. They made over $1 million USD as a result of the scheme. 

According to the Department of Justice, the brothers and Ramani sold the assets between June 2021 and April 2022. 

Wahi is also working with the SEC to reach a settlement. The SEC said in April that it has an “agreement in principle” with Ishan Wahi.

“Any settlement recommended by SEC staff must be reviewed within the SEC and approved by the SEC’s Commissioners before it may be submitted to the Court for approval, a process that can take a number of weeks,” the document said.

The proposed deadline for SEC opposition is June 15, and Wahi has until July 15 to respond.

The brothers were also ordered to pay Coinbase $470,000 in restitution to cover “five grand jury subpoenas requests (including subparts) for documents and information,” as well as the lost wages of employees who had to focus on the Department of Justice’s investigation.


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