Two Indians, Indian-American Charged In First-Ever Crypto Insider Trading Case

Two Indian brothers and their Indian-American friend have been charged in the US in what is perhaps the first crypto insider trading scheme.

Ishan Wahi (32 and Nikhil Wahi (26) were staying in Seattle. Their friend Sameer Ramani (33) is a resident of Houston. They made over a million dollars in illicit profit.

The three men were charged with wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading in cryptocurrency assets. They used confidential information on which crypto assets were scheduled to be listed on Coinbase’s exchanges.

The United States 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 a US District Court. The SEC complaint said that Ramani is believed to be in India.

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

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

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. 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.

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