The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly close to reaching a settlement with former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi, who is accused of insider trading in the cryptocurrency industry. Wahi, along with his brother Nikhil Wahi and a close friend, allegedly made over $1.1 million in illicit profits using nonpublic information related to crypto listings that he obtained during his time at Coinbase.
Insider Trading Allegations and Criminal Charges
The insider trading allegations were brought against the Wahi brothers and their friend, who have all pled guilty to concurrent criminal counts. But, the Wahi brothers requested Seattle court in February to dismiss the SEC’s case, calling the charges an “abuse of power.”
According to a court document filed on Monday, the SEC has reached “an agreement in principle” with Ishan Wahi to settle its allegations against him. The regulator has also been in “good faith discussions” with Nikhil Wahi, and a settlement with him may also be reached soon.
This case is the latest action by a regulator that has grown increasingly aggressive in policing the cryptocurrency industry. Moreover, the SEC has been ramping up its scrutiny of the industry in recent months and has launched several cases aimed at cracking down on alleged insider trading and other misconduct.
Potential Wide-Ranging Consequences
Last month, a trade group urged a judge to dismiss the case, warning that it will have far-reaching repercussions for the digital asset market industry and harm crypto investors. However, the SEC has continued to pursue the case and is expected to review and approve any settlement recommended by staff. The case against Ishan Wahi underscores the importance of transparency and accountability in the cryptocurrency industry.