NEW YORK, Jan 10 (Reuters) – The brother of a former Coinbase International Inc (COIN.O) product supervisor was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 months in jail after pleading responsible in what U.S. prosecutors have referred to as the first insider trading case involving cryptocurrency.
Nikhil Wahi admitted to creating trades based mostly on confidential info from Coinbase, one of many world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, when he pleaded responsible in September to a wire fraud conspiracy cost.
Prosecutors stated Ishan Wahi, the previous product supervisor, shared the data along with his brother and their buddy Sameer Ramani about new digital property that Coinbase was planning to let customers commerce.
Ishan Wahi has pleaded not responsible, and Ramani is at giant.
Prosecutors stated Wahi made almost $900,000 of revenue by illegally buying and selling forward of 40 totally different Coinbase bulletins. They really useful a 10- to 16-month sentence.
At a sentencing listening to in Manhattan federal court docket, U.S. District Decide Loretta Preska stated his crime was “not an remoted error in judgment.”
The sentencing got here as U.S. prosecutors and regulators ramp up their scrutiny of cryptocurrency firms and executives.
“At this time’s sentence makes clear that the cryptocurrency markets will not be lawless,” Damian Williams, the highest federal prosecutor in Manhattan, stated in a press release.
Final month, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not responsible to eight counts of fraud and conspiracy over the collapse of his now-bankrupt alternate, a Coinbase rival.
The crypto sector can also be struggling, after the values of bitcoin and different digital property plunged final yr as rates of interest and worries of an financial downturn rose.
Coinbase stated on Tuesday it will reduce about 20% of its workforce, or 950 staff, in its third spherical of layoffs since final yr.
Wahi’s mom and about one dozen different members of the family and associates attended his sentencing.
He instructed Preska he had traded in an effort to repay his mother and father for funding his U.S. faculty schooling.
“I wished to assist my mother and father, however as an alternative I put them by means of nice struggling,” stated Wahi, whose lawyer had urged Preska to not impose a jail sentence. “I am very sorry for what I did.”
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