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Celsius Former CRO Pleads Guilty to Manipulating CEL Cryptocurrency Price: Sentencing Set for December 2024

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Ronnie Cohen-Pavone Pleads Guilty to Cryptocurrency Market Manipulation

Ronnie Cohen-Pavone, the former chief revenue officer of Celsius, has pleaded guilty to four criminal charges related to manipulating the market price of CEL, the primary cryptocurrency issued by the bankrupt digital asset bank.

September 13 Ruling by US District Judge John Koeltl

US District Judge John Koeltl issued a ruling on September 13 regarding the case, according to Reuters.

Sentencing Set for December 11, 2024

Following his guilty plea, Cohen-Pavone’s sentencing has been scheduled for December 11, 2024.

Charges Against Celsius Founder Alex Mashinsky

In July 2024, Celsius founder Alex Mashinsky was charged with fraud and conspiracy by federal prosecutors. It is alleged that Mashinsky conspired with Cohen-Pavone to manipulate the price of CEL and deceive investors. Prosecutors also claim that Mashinsky defrauded customers and provided false information about the company’s financial status.

Independent Investigator Report Suggests Ponzi Scheme

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According to a report by an independent investigator appointed by the court, Celsius, under Mashinsky’s leadership, was found to be operating in a manner similar to a Ponzi scheme.

Financial Irregularities and Arrest of Mashinsky

During the company’s bankruptcy proceedings in 2022, it was discovered that several executives, including the former CEO, withdrew millions from Celsius accounts shortly before filing for bankruptcy. Mashinsky was arrested but later released on bail set at $40 million. The US Department of Justice also froze many of his assets, including corporate assets at Goldman Sachs.

Regulatory Lawsuits and Allegations

Regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), have filed lawsuits against Mashinsky, accusing him of violating various laws. New York Attorney General Letitia James has also accused Mashinsky of violating state rules, and the court has ordered him to respond to the lawsuit.

Mashinsky’s Plea and Request for Dismissal

Mashinsky has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and denied any wrongdoing in the collapse of Celsius. His lawyers have requested the dismissal of the FTC’s lawsuit, claiming that their client has been wrongly accused.

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