Cryptocurrency Insider Trading, Fraud in DOJ Crosshairs

Federal attorneys this week unsealed an indictment against a former product manager at Coinbase who tipped off his brother and the brother’s friend about cryptocurrency assets about to be listed on the trading platform. The three men faces charges including wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. The government alleges they made illegal trades in at least 25 different crypto assets, obtaining approximately $1.5 million. The Securities and Exchange Commission also sued the trio in federal civil court in Seattle in a case seeking civil penalties and disgorgement. Separately, Justice announced the jury conviction of a Randall Crater, 51, for defrauding investors of $6 million in a virtual currency scheme he marketed as “My Big Coins.” 

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