Judge rejects OpenSea’s former employee’s motion to dissolve fraud case


  • The motion to reject wire fraud charges against Nathaniel Chastain has been denied by a judge.
  • According to the judge, the defense argued in its motion to dissolve “wholly without merit.”
  • The next conference will be held in New York on October 27 at 11 a.m.

New York’s South District judge has dismissed a motion to reject the wire fraud charges against Nathaniel Chastain, former OpenSea employee. In June, Today NFT News reported when Chastain was Charged for committing insider trading in NFTs.

He was charged by a large jury after he purchased and sold NFTs that he knew would be listed on the homepage of the marketplace

In August, Chastain filed a motion to reject, mentioning that non-fungible tokens are neither securities nor commodities. He also argued that wire fraud charges claiming front-running need trading in such categories. 

Jesse Furman, District Judge, didn’t agree in a memorandum and order, refusing the motion to reject the accusation and stating that the argument “is wholly without merit.” 

Furman wrote:

No court has suggested, let alone held, that conviction in such a case requires trading in securities and commodities.

According to a footnote in the opinion, the argument of Chastain suggests that the term ‘insider training’ might mislead and if it does, striking the phase from the indictment would be the right action over rejecting the indictment completely.

Earlier this month, there was news that Nathaniel was building his defense. His legal team filed a separate motion, urging the court not only to strike the term from the matter but also ban the government from mentioning it in the future too. Moreover, the defense team too filed to subpoena the former employer of Chastain and kick out evidence based on a search conducted at his home.

Meanwhile, in August, his legal team also claimed that prosecutors are trying to label NFTs as securities.