The US Attorney General’s office for the Southern District of New York has indicted a Coinbase employee who allegedly tipped his brother and friend what assets were pending listing on the exchange.
Popular crypto Twitter handle Cobie helped the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to bring the case. The FBI has been using tip offs compiled by quasi-anonymous Twitter accounts to prosecute cryptocurrency insider traders and fraudsters.
Whenever a cryptocurrency asset is listed on a major exchange, its value starts going up.
According to the indictment, the pair made $1.5m in realized and unrealized gains. The case was brought against Ishan Wahi who allowed access to a channel where Coinbase employees were discussing new listings and were talking about potential listings. The purchase of the tokens realized by the two came just prior to the listings.
Cobie’s tweet from April 12 said: “Found an ETH address that bought hundreds of thousands of dollars of tokens exclusively featured in the Coinbase Asset Listing post about 24 hours before it was published.”
The indictment used Cobie’s Tweet and analyzed the Ethereum (ETH) address which belonged to Sameer Ramani, the friend of brothers Ishan and Nikhil Wahi.
Coinbase had also taken notice of Cobie’s tweets and launched an investigation of its own.
Upon the announcement of the indictment, Cobie had little sympathy for Coinbase. He said that the exchange played the hero even though its listings and frontrunning token choices had become “a huge mess”.
He finished off by thanking the Department of Justice and law enforcement for keeping a vigilant eye.
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