Thu 06 Oct 2022 ▪ 1:00 p.m. ▪
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Nathaniel Chastain, the former head of products at OpenSea, is in a legal tussle with American justice. He is accused of digital fraud, because he allegedly distributed non-fungible tokens (NFT) in the foreground illegally. Knowing that he is risking a lot, the defendant multiplies the maneuvers to demonstrate his innocence. To this end, he intends to summon his former employer to appear.
A subpoena for OpenSea
Nathaniel Chastain multiplies the actions to sharpen his defense in the case which opposes him to the public prosecutor. He therefore wishes to have his former employer, OpenSea, appear so that the term “insider trading” be removed from the case. According to the prosecution, Chastain allegedly defrauded while he was still Product Manager at NFT Marketplace. He is accused of major role he would have played in the acquisition of the NFTsknowing that they were listed on the OpenSea homepage.
Accused of ” insider trading », his lawyers reject everything and want to bring Chastain’s former employer to appear to support their argument. They intend to prove that wire fraud charge which he is the target has no basis. OpenSea will be able to testify that the information used by Chastain to make profits is not the property of the company.
Finally, he also hopes to receive certain documents from Slack conversations between him and his former colleagues, and even the management team, that the company has shared with the government. All this to demonstrate to the court that its activities were transparent and that there was nothing illegal about them.
“Insider trading”, the controversial term
Last June, the US Department of Justice filed charges against Chastain for wire fraud. He would have used his privileged position and certain private information to manipulating NFT prices listed on the OpenSea site to his advantage. The public prosecutor considers this maneuver to be “insider trading”, even if technically, he could not be prosecuted for this reason. Indeed, NFTs are not in the field of real estate values and commodities.
A few days ago, Chastain asked the prosecution to remove the term “insider trading” from the charge. The accused considers that this term is: “provocative, unduly prejudicial and unrelated to the crimes charged”, he specified. He made an explicit request to the court to prohibit this term: “The presence of the term in the indictment, and any reference to it at trial, serves no legitimate prosecution purpose and is merely a means for the government to attract media attention and to inflame the jury in this one-of-a-kind case in the digital asset space,” said the person concerned in his document.
In short, nothing is official yet, but OpenSea could play the role of arbitrator in this unprecedented affair. Chastain believes that during the search carried out by the FBI, several violations were committed against him.
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Doctoral student in financial law and experienced SEO web editor, Cédrick Aimé is passionate about cryptocurrencies, trading, etc. He naturally participates thanks to his articles in the daily blockchain revolution for a better democratization of DeFi.
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NFT: OpenSea subpoenaed in electronic fraud case?
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