Welcome to This Week In Compliance: GAN’s weekly news roundup, where we curate the latest stories on compliance and anti-corruption to keep you informed. This week, a former crypto exchange employee is charged with the first-ever case of crypto insider trading. Read the full story and more news below:
Former Crypto Exchange Employee Charged with Insider Trading
The first-ever cryptocurrency insider-trading case was filed this week, which could have broad ramifications for the crypto space. A former employee of Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, was charged with several counts of wire fraud, due to his involvement in providing family members with confidential information about certain cryptocurrencies, allowing those family members to profit from the information. Ishan Wahi, the former Coinbase manager, along with his brother Nikhil Wahi and their friend Sameer Ramani were said to have profited upwards of USD 1.5M from the insider trading scheme.
Ten Sentenced in North Ireland Money Laundering Scheme
Ten individuals were sentenced this week in a GBP 20M money laundering scheme in North Ireland. The individuals, all Chinese nationals, were arrested for laundering cash on behalf of an organized crime group - they would receive cash bundles are were told to make deposits to various accounts using a Barclays bank location in Belfast. CCTV cameras caught the individuals making deposits on a daily basis using an automated deposit machine. Seven of the suspects will face prison sentences and the remaining 3 will be out on special release.
US Authorities Seize Ransom from North Korea Ransomware Hack
The US Department of Justice said this week that they have seized more than USD 500,000 in cryptocurrency, stolen from healthcare companies in an alleged ransomware attack conducted by North Korean hackers. The hackers distributed a new computer bug, known as Maui, to the companies which encrypted all of the files on their servers, essentially locking them out from recovering their data, until a ransom was paid. The FBI was able to trace the Maui bug to a group of hackers from North Korea by following a trail of transactions through the blockchain.
Four in Cyprus Charged Over ‘Cash-for-Passports’ Scheme
Four individuals, including the former head of Cyprus’ Parliament, were charged in connection with a corruption scandal involving taking cash bribes in exchange for fraudulent passports and other documents. Following a 2020 investigation by Al Jazeera known as “The Cyrpus Papers”, four individuals have been charged with taking bribes from criminal enterprises in exchange for passports. The group included Demetris Syllouris, who was the president of the Cyprus Parliament at the time. The passports were supplied to convicted criminals in exchange for an approximately USD 2.5M infusion of cash into the government.