• 13 July, 2024
News

Investor Alleges Coinbase CEO and Executives of Dodging $1B Loss

Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong, along with board member Marc Andreessen and other officers, are being sued by a lawsuit from an investor. The lawsuit alleged that the group used insider information to sell $3 billion in stock before the share price dropped due to the volatile market, a move that led the executives to avoid losses worth $1 billion.

According to Bloomberg, the lawsuit was filed by the investor Adam Grabski in Delaware Chancery Court on Monday and alleged that the defendants engaged in “direct listing,” as opposed to the more common initial public offering, and then sold off $2.9 billion in stock before disclosing material, negative information that destroyed market optimism beginning with the company’s first quarterly earnings release.

Over $37 billion was wiped off Coinbase’s market cap in just five weeks as its share price dropped by more than $1 billion. Armstrong reportedly sold around $291 million worth of Coinbase stock as part of the direct listing. In contrast, the complaint stated that Andreessen’s venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, sold more than $118 million worth of stock during the same period.

According to the court filing, the defendants “avoided $1.09 billion in losses by positioning themselves to sell their shares immediately after the direct listing but before disclosing crucial information to the public.”

Coinbase’s stock, with the ticker code “COIN,” denoted its official Nasdaq listing on April 14, 2021, and it opened at more than $380. The court filing alleged that the stock price peaked at $429 per share on its initial public offering day.

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