CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Ex-Coinbase manager pleads guilty in insider trading case
(Corrects Ishan Wahi's age in paragraph 2 to 32, not 30)
NEW YORK, Feb 7 (Reuters) - A former Coinbase Global Inc product manager pleaded guilty on Tuesday in what U.S. prosecutors have called the first insider trading case involving cryptocurrency, his defense lawyer said in a court hearing.
Ishan Wahi, 32, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, after initially pleading not guilty last year.
Prosecutors said Wahi shared confidential information with his brother Nikhil and their friend Sameer Ramani about forthcoming announcements of new digital assets that Coinbase would let users trade.
Nikhil Wahi and Ramani were charged with using ethereum blockchain wallets to acquire digital assets and trading at least 14 times before Coinbase announcements between June 2021 and April 2022.
The announcements typically caused the assets to rise in value and generated at least $1.5 million in illicit gains, prosecutors have said.
Nikhil Wahi pleaded guilty in September to a wire fraud conspiracy charge, and in January was sentenced to 10 months in prison. Ramani is at large.
Coinbase is one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges. The company has said it shared its findings from an internal probe into the trading with prosecutors. (Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)