Nathaniel Chastain, who allegedly bought and sold nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on the OpenSea app with secret information, was charged in June with wire fraud. The statute, along with the related mail fraud statute, is broad, adaptable and powerful. They’re federal prosecutors’ “Stradivarius, our Colt 45, our Louisville Slugger, our Cuisinart–and our true love,” federal judge and former prosecutor Jed Rakoff once quipped.
True love or not, wire fraud isn’t the typical approach in an “insider trading” case, which often involves securities fraud charges. But wire fraud can offer Justice Department prosecutors a key advantage in digital asset cases: the ability to dodge the knotty question of whether the asset is a security.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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