3 men including two Indian brothers and their Indian friend are facing charges in the first-ever insider trading cryptocurrency scheme, reports Outlook India.
The three are accused of making illegal profits of over one million dollars.
According to Reuters, authorities arrested Ishan and Nikhil Wahi on Thursday, but a third defendant, Sameer Ramani, remain at large.
Ishan Wahi allegedly shared confidential information about new cryptocurrency assets that Coinbase would allow users to trade through its exchange.
His lawyer told Reuters he is “innocent of all wrongdoing and intends to defend himself vigorously.”
CBS Moneywatch reports that with Ishan’s help, the other two defendants bought 25 crypto assets before the official announcement and then quickly sold it for a $1.1 million profit.
“Our message with these charges is clear: Fraud is fraud is fraud, whether it occurs on the blockchain or on Wall Street,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement to CBS.
The lawyers for Nikhil Wahi and Sameer Ramani could not be reached for comment.
Coinbase became suspicious of the transactions and notified authorities. Coinbase security officer Philip Martin tweeted about the company’s suspicions.