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Judge Says DOJ Can Call OpenSea NFT Case ‘Insider Trading’, Sets Trial Date

Former OpenSea head of product Nathaniel Chastain will face charges of wire fraud and money laundering on April 24. Chastain’s lawyers have argued that there’s no precedent for insider trading in digital assets, as the assets in question are neither defined as securities nor commodities. Charges were brought against Chastain in October 2022 in connection with alleged illegal profit from NFT sales in 2021. Prosecutors said Chastain used inside knowledge of which NFTs would appear on the front page of OpenSea to buy them ahead of being featured and sell them for a profit once highlighted on the site. The judge granted the government’s motion to preclude witness opinions on the case, but allowed Chastain to testify on “his beliefs regarding the effects of his conduct on OpenSea on the theory that such testimony would be probative of willfulness and intent.”

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