Digital

Former CEO of Celsius Network Pleads Not Guilty to Fraud Charges

Picture Source: BeInCrypto

Alex Mashinsky, the former CEO of bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network, has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges in New York. Prosecutors allege that Mashinsky misled customers to inflate the value of Celsius’s proprietary token, CEL. He faces seven criminal counts, including wire fraud, securities fraud, and commodities fraud, with prosecutors claiming he orchestrated a calculated scheme over several years. Mashinsky denies the allegations, according to his lawyer.

Celsius Network’s Legal Troubles:

Celsius Network experienced a dramatic collapse in the summer of 2022 following the implosion of the TerraUSD stablecoin. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York after months of speculation from its customers. In response to extreme market conditions, Celsius froze customer withdrawals, swaps, and transfers, leading to layoffs affecting around 23% of its workforce.

Legal Repercussions in the Crypto Industry:

The crypto industry has faced numerous legal challenges in 2023. Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs and the issuer of TerraUSD, awaits trial in the US and South Korea after being arrested on passport fraud charges in Montenegro. Additionally, in June, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused leading crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance of securities fraud.

Read More: FTX Files Lawsuit Against Founders of Digital Assets AG, Seeking $323.5 Million Recovery

Conclusion:

Alex Mashinsky, the former CEO of Celsius Network, has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges related to the alleged misleading of customers and manipulation of the value of Celsius’s proprietary token. The legal troubles faced by Celsius Network are part of a broader trend of legal challenges within the crypto industry. As regulatory scrutiny increases, it is crucial for companies to navigate the evolving landscape while ensuring transparency and compliance with regulations to maintain trust and protect investors.

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