DOJ charges first-ever digital asset insider trading case against ex-NFT marketplace exec

June 1, 2022, 5:58 PM UTC

Nate Chastain, the OpenSea staffer who quit the NFT marketplace after an insider trading scandal in September 2021, is now in the crosshairs of U.S. authorities.

Chastain was charged Wednesday with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with trading on confidential information about which non-fungible tokens were about to be featured on the OpenSea homepage, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

“NFTs might be new, but this type of criminal scheme is not,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “As alleged, Nathaniel Chastain betrayed OpenSea by using its confidential business information to make money for himself. Today’s charges demonstrate the commitment of this Office to stamping out insider trading—whether it occurs on the stock market or the blockchain.”

Chastain, 31, is working on a new NFT project, Oval, as CoinDesk reported in March based on investor materials.

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