Crypto Icon Alex Mashinsky Faces Trial in 2024
Alex Mashinsky, the co-founder and former CEO of Celsius, is set to stand trial in September 2024, as reported by Bloomberg on October 3.
The trial date has been fixed for September 17, 2024. Mashinsky faces securities fraud, commodities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy related to manipulating Celsius’ native crypto token, CEL.
While the details of Mashinsky’s defense strategy are not fully disclosed, it seems his legal team will emphasize the uncertain regulatory status of cryptocurrencies. One attorney stated that the definition of securities is constantly evolving in court.
The trial date was determined during a hearing on October 3, with new filings confirming the developments. This case has been unfolding for several months. Mashinsky was arrested and charged on July 13, 2023, and released on $40 million bail the following day, although his assets were frozen in August.
The criminal fraud case against Mashinsky is led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Additionally, he faces a civil fraud case from the New York Attorney General’s office and a securities case from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Celsius, under Mashinsky’s management, faced a significant downfall, halting withdrawals in June 2022 and entering bankruptcy proceedings in July 2022. It’s important to note that these bankruptcy proceedings are separate from the primary criminal case involving Mashinsky. Currently, Celsius is working to rebuild and compensate affected customers.
At the time of the bankruptcy, Celsius owed around $4.2 billion to more than 100,000 creditors. Recent reports suggest that it may distribute approximately $2 billion in cryptocurrency, along with company shares and a stake in the litigation against Mashinsky, as part of its restitution efforts.