Coinbase Insider Traders Settle With SEC

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  • Two of the Coinbase Three have settled with the SEC over their scheme
  • Ishan and Nikhil Wahi will have to hand over a combined $922,800 in repayments and fines
  • The pair pleaded guilty to using inside information regarding product listings this year

Ishan Wahi and his brother, Nikhil, have agreed to settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over insider trading charges brought in 2022. As part of the deal, Ishan will forfeit 10.97 ETH ($20,848.92) and 9,440 USDT, while Nikhil will have to hand over $892,500. The pair have already been sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison respectively for their crimes, having both pleaded guilty to using Ishan’s information as Product Manager at Coinbase to buy up coins before they were announced on the exchange.

Charges Echo Criminal Case

The SEC started proceedings against the Wahi brothers and co-conspirator Sameer Ramani in July last year, in tandem with the criminal cases against them. According to the charges, Ishan “repeatedly tipped his brother, Nikhil, and his close friend, Ramani, with material, nonpublic information about those [coin] listings’ timing and content”, allowing the pair to buy up large amounts of the coins in question and sell them when the price jumped on news of the listing.

The SEC demanded that the Wahi brothers hand over the money they made alongside penalties. Nikhil’s penalty of almost $900,000 represents almost all the money the trio made through the entirety of the operation, while Ishan’s much lower fine illustrates how little he made out of the enterprise.

The brothers initially fought the charges before pleading guilty this year, which will have used up their resources, which when added to the fact that they now have to hand over the equivalent of everything they earned from the scheme, they are both in prison and out of pocket.