SEC and Department of Justice Announce Parallel Crypto 'Insider Trading' Charges as Regulators and Congress Wrangle over Regulation of Digital Assets

July 28, 2022

On July 21, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced parallel civil and criminal actions (here and here) against a former product manager at Coinbase Global, Inc. (“Coinbase”), the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, as well as his brother and his friend, for an alleged scheme to trade ahead of announcements that certain crypto assets would be “listed” on the exchange. The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged the defendants with a criminal wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud, while the SEC alleged the insider trading scheme constituted securities fraud in violation of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5. 

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