Man Arrested for NFT Insider Trading

The government is tightening hard on financial crimes, so beware of web3 businesses. An ex-OpenSea marketing administrator has been detained in New York City as well as prosecuted with wiring theft as well as currency laundering for his role in an intricate insider trading scam using the non-fungible token (NFT). According to a news statement with the Department of Justice, Chastain allegedly bought and sold NFTs for up to fivefold their intended worth using his privileged, private information of which non-fungible token would be displayed on OpenSea’s marketplace.

Chastain Booked For Market Manipulation


Chastain is accused of engaging in a time-honored method of market manipulation by purchasing hundreds of NFTs before they were highlighted on OpenSea’s site, as FBI Associate Director Michael J. Driscoll alleges in his report. For his part, the DOJ claims that Chastain worked at OpenSea, picking NFTs for the corporation’s site.

After determining which token would go up in value, Chastain reportedly purchased the tokens with the usage of many hidden cryptocurrency accounts, only to resell them for a profit. While it’s unclear exactly when Chastain’s scam took place, it is believed to have entailed her purchasing several hundred NFTs from June through September of 2021. The NFTs were purportedly resold by Chastain at a rate of two to five times their original cost.

“NFTs might be new, but this type of criminal scheme is not,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “As alleged, Nathaniel Chastain betrayed OpenSea by using its confidential business information to make money for himself.”

An OpenSea spokeswoman confirmed to media outlets that the business had dismissed Chastain’s contract after conducting an inquiry. Reliability and honesty are at the heart of all we do as the world’s premier web3 platform for NFTs,” the representative stated. After discovering Nate’s actions, we launched an inquiry and eventually ordered him to depart the firm. His actions were in obvious contrast with our fundamental beliefs and objectives and were in clear breach of our hiring standards and procedures.

Chastain’s antics were initially brought to the attention of the NFT fraternity last autumn. People on Twitter allege to have seen Chastain acquire tokens from libraries before their launch utilizing a variety of hidden crypto wallets. Chastain’s wallet behavior was afterward examined by a Chinese crypto media portal which alleges to have discovered $67,000 in Ether (ETH) that he allegedly took from the scam.


Though they didn’t identify Chastain by name, OpenSea was obliged to recognize the deception in a published blog entry. As a result of this, OpenSea stated that one of their workers had bought things that they understood were going to be shown on our home page prior to becoming accessible. OpenSea’s problems, however, go beyond Chastain.

An NFT customer from Texas challenged the firm this year for $1 million, alleging that the corporation was accountable for a Bored Ape NFT taken from his crypto pocket. The lawsuit was settled out of court. An attacker took the $1.7 million value of NFTs from OpenSea customers in a spoofing assault that occurred a week after.