The SEC charged the two Indian brothers and their friend in the first ever crypto insider trading case worth $1.5 million in the USA and they were arrested for the crime.
Ishan Wahi, 32, and Nikhil Wahi, 26, together with Sameer Ramani, an Indian-American friend, have been charged in the US in connection with the first-ever cryptocurrency insider trading scheme. According to a PTI report, they are said to have made illicit profits totaling almost $1.5 million.
While their friend Sameer Ramani lives in Houston, the two Indian-born brothers were living in Seattle.
The Wahi brothers and Mr. Ramani are accused of engaging in insider trading in cryptocurrency assets, according to an indictment unsealed yesterday by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, and Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, Michael J. Driscoll. They allegedly accomplished this using confidential Coinbase information of the cryptoassets planned for listing on Coinbase’s exchanges.
The two brothers and their friend were charged with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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The Wahi brothers were detained in Seattle early yesterday morning and will appear before the Western District of Washington US District Court.
According to the SEC complaint, it is thought that the friend Mr. Ramani is currently in India. He and Ishan Wahi were classmates at the University of Texas at Austin and they are still close friends, according to the report.
According to prosecutors, the three men are charged of engaging in the first insider trading tips scam involving cryptocurrencies. They engaged in illegal transactions involving at least 25 different crypto assets, earning profits of about $1.5 million.
Ishan Wahi faces two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud as well as two counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a 20-year maximum penalty.
Nikhil Wahi and Mr. Ramani are also accused of one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of wire fraud, each of which carry a 20-year maximum sentence.
For those who are unaware, insider trading refers to the trading of stock or other securities of a publicly traded company based on important, confidential information about the company, sometimes known as insider information. It is typically done with the intention of making money and is illegal in many countries.
What The United States Attorney Of New York Said
According to a PTI report, Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, “Today’s charges are a further reminder that Web3 is not a law-free zone. Just last month, I announced the first ever insider trading case involving NFTs, and today I announce the first ever insider trading case involving cryptocurrency markets. Our message with these charges is clear: fraud is fraud, whether it occurs on the blockchain or on Wall Street. And the Southern District of New York will continue to be relentless in bringing fraudsters to justice, wherever we may find them.”