Nothing to Hide

US Court Closes Case on Crypto Asset Trading Scheme

Ukraine seizes $19,500 from crypto wallet dedicated to supporting Russian forces

US Court Closes Case on Crypto Asset Trading Scheme

The US District Court for the Western District of Washington has entered a final judgment against Sameer Ramani for engaging in insider trading. Ramani was implicated in a scheme to trade ahead of multiple announcements concerning at least nine crypto asset securities slated for trading on the Coinbase platform.

Coinbase Confidentiality Breached: Insider Details Disclosed

The case stemmed from allegations brought forward by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which asserted that Ramani received privileged information from his associate, Ishan Wahi, a former product manager at Coinbase. Wahi allegedly orchestrated the timing and content of public listing announcements, divulging sensitive details to Ramani and Nikhil Wahi, his brother. These disclosures included information regarding upcoming crypto asset listings, which were treated as confidential by Coinbase.

The complaint, covering the period from June 2021 to April 2022, alleged that Ramani and Nikhil Wahi leveraged the insider information to purchase at least 25 crypto assets, nine of which were securities, ahead of public announcements. Subsequently, they purportedly sold these assets shortly after the announcements, profiting from the subsequent price increases.

Disgorgement and Civil Penalty Ordered

The judgment, entered on the basis of default, prohibits Ramani from violating anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act and associated rules. Additionally, Ramani has been ordered to pay a disgorgement totaling $817,602, along with a civil penalty amounting to $1,635,204. Notably, the court had previously issued final judgments against Ishan and Nikhil Wahi, thereby concluding the litigation surrounding this matter. Daniel Maher and Peter Lallas led the SEC’s litigation efforts, under the supervision of James Connor and Olivia Choe.