Former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky will face trial in September 2024 on criminal fraud charges related to the crypto lending platform’s billion-dollar collapse. A federal judge in New York scheduled opening arguments to start on September 17th, nearly 15 months from now.
Mashinsky stands accused of misleading customers and artificially inflating Celsius’ native token through customer assets to project false profitability. He was arrested in July and pleaded not guilty to the allegations, which carry potential decades-long sentences.
Former Celsius executive also faces charges
Former Celsius executive Roni Cohen-Pavon also faces charges for his alleged role in the scheme and reportedly pleaded guilty last month. Meanwhile, Celsius entered bankruptcy last summer, owing billions to investors unable to withdraw funds from the platform.
In parallel cases, the SEC and CFTC filed civil charges against Mashinsky for allegedly fraudulent and unregistered securities activities. The agencies say the company and its CEO consistently lied to customers while manipulating markets.
While the former Celsius CEO maintains innocence, the criminal trial will determine whether prosecutors can prove intent to defraud beyond failure to meet business objectives. The proceedings are expected to span many weeks as extensive evidence surfaces.
Some legal experts believe bankruptcies and business disputes often spark misleading criminal charges. But the scale of losses from Celsius’ implosion likely compelled authorities to pursue harsh penalties.
Mashinsky himself faces uphill odds, mounting a vigorous defense given his central role at the firm and past public statements. Damning internal communications could arise, exposing deliberate deception.
For now, all parties brace for legal processes that could stretch years when accounting for appeals. But the September 2024 start date marks a pivotal moment as the crypto world eagerly awaits closure on Celsius’ chaotic downfall.