Celsius Network founder arrested, charged with fraud, US prosecutor says By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People exit the headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 12, 2021. Picture taken May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) -Alex Mashinsky, the founder and former CEO of bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network, was arrested and charged with fraud, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan said Thursday morning.

Mashinsky was charged with seven criminal counts, including securities fraud, commodities fraud and wire fraud, while Celsius’ former chief revenue officer, Roni Cohen-Pavon, was charged with four criminal counts, according to the indictment, which was unsealed on Thursday.

Mashinsky did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also sued Mashinsky and Celsius on Thursday, according to a court filing, alleging Mashinsky and Celsius raised billions of dollars through the sale of unregistered crypto asset securities and misled investors about the financial success of his business.

The lawsuit adds to a series of challenges for Celsius Network, which earlier this year was also sued by New York’s attorney general.

The crypto industry has been on shaky ground since the SEC’s lawsuits against major crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase (NASDAQ:) Global last month raised risks of further regulatory challenges for the sector.



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