US Arrests Former Employee of Opensea NFT Marketplace in ‘First-Ever Digital Asset Insider Trading Scheme’ – Regulation Bitcoin News
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted an worker of non-fungible token (NFT) market Opensea in what the division known as the “first-ever digital asset insider trading scheme.”
DOJ Indicts Former Opensea Product Manager
The DOJ introduced Wednesday the unsealing of an indictment charging Nathaniel Chastain, a former product supervisor at Ozone Networks Inc. (aka Opensea), in its “first-ever digital asset insider trading scheme.” Chastain was arrested Wednesday morning in New York.
The Justice Department defined that from June to September 2021, the defendant allegedly used Opensea’s confidential details about what NFTs have been going to be featured on its homepage “to secretly purchase dozens of NFTs shortly before they were featured.” The DOJ added:
After these NFTs have been featured on Opensea, Chastain offered them at earnings of two- to five-times his preliminary buy worth.
As half of his employment, Chastain was accountable for choosing NFTs to be featured on Opensea’s homepage. “Opensea kept confidential the identity of featured NFTs until they appeared on its homepage,” the DOJ detailed. “After an NFT was featured on Opensea’s homepage, the price buyers were willing to pay for that NFT, and for other NFTs made by the same NFT creator, typically increased substantially.”
Over the course of his fraudulent scheme, Chastain bought about 45 NFTs on roughly 11 separate events, court docket paperwork present.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams opined:
Today’s expenses show the dedication of this Office to stamping out insider buying and selling — whether or not it happens on the stock market or the blockchain.
The DOJ additional detailed: “To conceal the fraud, Chastain conducted these purchases and sales using anonymous digital currency wallets and anonymous accounts on Opensea.”
According to the Justice Department:
Chastain, 31, of New York, New York is charged with one rely of wire fraud and one rely of money laundering, every of which carries a most sentence of 20 years in jail.
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