2 Indians, friend charged in 1st crypto insider trading scheme: Official


Two Indian brothers and their Indian-American friend have been charged in the US in the first ever cryptocurrency insider trading scheme in which they made illicit profits totalling over a million dollars.

Ishan Wahi, 32, and his brother Nikhil Wahi, 26, are citizens of India and were residing in Seattle while Sameer Ramani, 33, resides in Houston.

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams and Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Michael J. Driscoll announced on Thursday the unsealing of an Indictment charging the Wahi brothers and Ramani with wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading in cryptocurrency assets by using confidential Coinbase information about which crypto assets were scheduled to be listed on Coinbase’s exchanges.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also announced insider trading charges against the three men.

The Wahi brothers were arrested on Thursday morning in Seattle and will be presented in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

The SEC complaint said Ramani is believed to currently be in India.

Ramani and Ishan Wahi attended the University of Texas at Austin at the same time and remain close friends.

Prosecutors said the three have been charged in the first ever cryptocurrency insider trading tipping scheme, in which the defendants made illegal trades in at least 25 different crypto assets and realized ill-gotten gains totalling approximately USD 1.5 million.

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, Williams said.

Ishan Wahi is charged with two counts of wire fraud conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Similarly, Nikhil Wahi and Ramani are charged with one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

mail Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor


Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: