The former top manager of the trading platform OpenSea will stand trial on charges of insider trading in crypto assets. On the totality of the charges, he faces up to 40 years in prison. The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York has charged Nathaniel Chastain, former top manager of the NFT trading platform OpenSea, with wire fraud and money laundering from his insider trading scheme in non-fungible tokens. According to U.S. District Attorney Damian Williams, Chastain manipulated market offerings using confidential information about when and which NFTs would be listed on the platform. Williams said:
“NFTs may be new, but this type of criminal scheme is not. We allege that Nathaniel Chastain betrayed OpenSea by using its confidential business information to make money for himself. The allegations demonstrate our commitment to eradicating insider trading, whether it occurs in the stock market or on the blockchain.”
The first allegations against Chastain were made back in September 2021. At that time, several OpenSea collectors conducted their own investigation into the movement of funds related to NFTs, and expressed their suspicion that Chastain was buying up potentially profitable tokens before their public presentation on the site.