After getting indicted almost a year ago for his involvement in insider trading, the former OpenSea Head of Product was finally convicted on Wednesday in a New York federal court. Although his legal representatives have tried to erase the term ‘Insider Trading’ from his case, so far, they have had no progress in that respect.
Nathaniel Chastain’s case is regarded as the first insider trading that is linked to digital tokens. His trial began on Monday, April 24th 2023 and he was charged with one count of wire fraud and another count of money laundering. The former OpenSea head of product’s case has since then gained the attention of many attorneys that specializes in crypto-related lawsuits.
OpenSea Insider Trading Involving NFTs
In June 2022, the former executive of the Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace was indicted with insider trading charges by Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The duo claimed that Chastain leverage confidential information which he had to purchase NFTs at relatively low prices from the marketplace. In other words, he took advantage of his position in the firm to enrich himself. Most of the digital collectibles that Chastain acquired are those that were on track to the listed on the OpenSea homepage at a later date.
Crypto Firm Executives Abuse Position for Insider Trading
He sold them to make huge profits up to $50,000 at the time. Prosecutor Thomas Burnett said, “He abused his status at OpenSea to line his own pockets, and he lied to cover his tracks.” Similar to the crime Chastain allegedly committed, a former product manager at Coinbase identified as Ishan Wahi together with his brother and one other person was charged with insider trading by the U.S authorities.
During that time, Wahi pleaded not guilty to all the charges levied against him and currently, Chastain is taking a similar stance in his lawsuit.
Chastain’s Lawyers Argue Against Court Claims
His lawyers have strongly opined that Chastain did not commit any crime. They have cited the fact that OpenSea had no policy at the time which regarded knowledge about what NFTs would be featured as confidential information.
“You can’t hold Nate to a standard that didn’t exist,” his lawyer Daniel Filor told members of th jury in his closing argument on Monday. “Nobody told Nate that he couldn’t use or share that information.”