Crypto Lender Celsius, Former CEO Alex Mashinsky Broke US Rules, Says CFTC

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Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigators have concluded that bankrupt crypto lender Celsius and its former CEO Alex Mashinsky broke US rules before the firm’s implosion, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.

Attorneys in the regulator’s enforcement unit determined that Celsius misled investors and should have registered with the regulator, according to the report, citing people familiar with the matter.

If majority of the CFTC’s commissioners agree with the conclusion, the agency can file a case in federal court as soon as this month, the report said.

Celsius and the CFTC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Last year’s market turmoil after the collapse of TerraUSD led to the failure of several major crypto companies including Celsius Network. The company filed for bankruptcy last year, leaving its customers with large losses.

As part of Celsius’ bankruptcy case, an independent examiner was appointed to investigate accusations that Celsius had operated as a Ponzi scheme and report on how it handled crypto assets.

New York’s attorney general sued Celsius founder Alex Mashinsky early this year, claiming he defrauded investors out of billions of dollars in digital currency by concealing the failing health of the lending platform.

Before freezing customer withdrawals and filing for bankruptcy last year, Celsius was one of the biggest crypto lending platforms, with nearly $25 billion (roughly Rs. 2,05,900 crore) in assets under management in October 2021. By the end of 2021, the firm had reached a $3 billion (roughly Rs. 24,700 crore) valuation.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


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