Former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky Faces Charges, US Attorney’s Office Reveals

In a significant development, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have unveiled a series of fraud charges against Alex Mashinsky, the former CEO of cryptocurrency lender Celsius.

According to the announcement made on July 13 by the U.S. Justice Department, Mashinsky is being charged with securities fraud, commodities fraud, and wire fraud. The charges stem from allegations of defrauding customers and providing misleading information about Celsius’ financial performance, profitability, and the nature of investments made with user funds. However, authorities revealed that they have reached a “non-prosecution agreement” with Celsius, with the platform accepting responsibility for its involvement in the fraudulent activities.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams emphasized the commitment to holding accountable those who exploit ordinary investors for personal gain, irrespective of whether it involves traditional fraud or crypto-related schemes. Williams stated, “It’s all fraud to us. And we’ll be here to catch it.”

Alongside Mashinsky, former Celsius chief revenue officer Roni Cohen-Pavon is also facing charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, market manipulation, and wire fraud. The allegations specifically revolve around the manipulation of the price of the CEL token. Mashinsky was reportedly arrested on July 13 in connection with the charges outlined in the indictment.

These charges come as part of a wave of legal actions targeting Celsius and Mashinsky subsequent to the platform’s collapse and financial difficulties in 2022. With the suspension of withdrawals on the Celsius platform and investigations initiated by state securities regulators across multiple U.S. states, the company has faced mounting legal scrutiny.

Earlier, on January 5, the New York Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit against Mashinsky, accusing him of misleading Celsius investors and causing billions of dollars in losses. Subsequently, on July 13, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed its own lawsuit, echoing similar allegations against Celsius and Mashinsky while additionally charging the firm with violations of securities laws.

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