Former Coinbase Employee Guilty of Insider Trading Wants to Limit Jail Term to 10 Months

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 2 min read
Former Coinbase Employee Guilty of Insider Trading Wants to Limit Jail Term to 10 Months
Photo: Depositphotos

Ishan Wahi has cited reasons such as “modest, law-abiding and admirable life” and mental health for the court to consider a jail term no more than 10 months.

In the latest court filing, crypto exchange Coinbase former product manager Ishan Wahi, who’s guilty of insider trading, has asked for a jail term of no more than 10 months. The lawyers representing Wahi have made an appeal to the court in their recent filings.

First-Ever Insider Crypto Trading Case

Wahi pleaded guilty to the first-ever insider trading case concerning crypto assets. He has a sentencing hearing next month on May 9. In its filing to the court, Wahi’s lawyers noted:

“The Defendant respectfully submits that a sentence of no more than 10 months incarceration, together with several other consequences of Ishan’s conviction, would impose a sufficient, but not excessive, punishment for the crimes of conviction”.

Furthermore, Tuesday’s filings also explain the reason behind considering this leniency. It adds that significant public attention and Wahi’s previous “modest, law-abiding and admirable life” and mental health conditions are the reasons that need to be considered.

The court filing document noted:

“Ishan is a man of outstanding character who crossed the line. His promising career has ended instantly, with no realistic prospects of similar employment in the future.”

Earlier this year on February 7, Wahi pleaded guilty to committing wire fraud by sharing the details of the future Coinbase crypto token listings with his brother Nikhil Wahi along with another contact Sameer Ramani. Judge Loretta Preska in the Southern District of New York is currently presiding over this case.

Earlier this year in January 2023, Nikhil Wahi was sentenced to a 10-month prison for his involvement in the crime. In February, Ishan Wahi entered into a plea deal with the US government wherein he will supposedly face a tentative sentence of three to five in jail and a fine between $15,000-$150,000.

Coinbase and Regulators

The recent development comes at a time when crypto exchange Coinbase has been having a tough battle with the US regulators, especially the SEC. Last month, the SEC issued a Wells Notice to Coinbase hinting that they could slap a lawsuit over the allegations of selling several digital assets as unregistered securities.

Besides, it could also hold Coinbase accountable for offering staking services without informing the SEC. However, Coinbase has lashed out at the securities regulator claiming no wrongdoing and stating that they have been informing the SEC at every step of their journey. Coinbase has also lashed out at the SEC for not maintaining enough clarity on securities rules for crypto.

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