Nate Chastain files motion to dismiss charges
Key points to remember
- Former OpenSea employee Nate Chastain has filed a motion to dismiss the Justice Department’s indictment against him.
- His legal team argues that charges of insider trading, wire fraud and money laundering cannot apply to Chastain and that the case is the first of its kind.
- Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Share this article
Former OpenSea employee Nate Chastain, who the Justice Department has charged as an insider NFT Trading, Wire Fraud and Money Laundering, filed a motion to dismiss the indictment against him.
The first case of its kind
Nate Chastain is fighting his indictment.
Court documents show that Chastain’s legal representatives have deposited a motion to dismiss the insider trading, wire fraud and money laundering charges brought against the former OpenSea employee in June.
OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace in the crypto space. According to justice department, Chastain reportedly used his position at OpenSea to purchase NFTs that were soon to be displayed on the homepage of the company’s website. As these NFTs would subsequently benefit from increased exposure, Chastain was able to sell them for up to five times their original purchase price.
Chastain’s legal team argues that “insider trading” fees cannot apply to Chastain because the affected NFTs are not currently considered either securities or commodities by regulators. The wire fraud tally, they further argue, must also be dismissed, as the NFTs that Chastain chose to purchase were not owned by OpenSea. Finally, the legal team believes that the money laundering charge should be dropped for several reasons, including that the public nature of Ethereum’s ledger “makes it impossible” to conceal transactions.
If the motion is denied, the legal team has asked for the grand jury instructions to be released on the grounds that the case will deal with matters of first impression, meaning Chastain’s case would be the first of its kind to be brought. in court. . Each of the three counts Chastain is charged with carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Chastain is not the only employee of a major crypto firm to be accused of insider trading and wire fraud. In July, the DOJ stopped former Coinbase employee Ishan Wahi for allegedly using his position to inform two co-conspirators of new cryptocurrency listings coming to Coinbase in order to preemptively buy the coins and sell them after listing .
Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.