Celsius Founder Alex Mashinsky is Charged by DOJ, SEC, CFTC

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Crypto platform Celsius founder Alex Mashinsky has been charged by multiple agencies including the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District for his role in a multibillion dollar fraud and market manipulation schemes. Although he has been referred to as a “crypto lender,” some of the most unusual stories surrounding the alleged fraud have to do with the customers. For instance, in the Celsius bankrupty proceeding, one customer pleaded for their funds back on the basis that they had yolo’d their entire EIDL funds into it.

“I placed my entire EIDL loan, $525,000 in Celsius to earn an APY to help pay back the 3.9% interest on the loan while I was in the process of deciding on if I would keep the EIDL or use it on my business,” the customer wrote. “I deposited these funds a few weeks after the Celsius rules changed on their ‘Earn’ accounts which required a user to be an Accredited Investor, which I was not.”

That victim’s story was publicized 12 months ago. At its peak, Celsius managed $25 billion of customer funds. The company declared bankruptcy in July 2022. Federal charges allege that much of the Celsius business was just a fraud run by Alex Mashinsky and another co-defendant.

The SEC and CFTC have also filed civil charges against Mashinsky.

Last modified: July 13, 2023

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