Celsius Network’s Former Chief Revenue Officer Pleads Guilty


Once a top executive at the now-defunct Celsius Network, Roni Cohen-Pavon recently entered a guilty plea on multiple fraud charges. The crypto lending firm’s saga is dramatic as Cohen-Pavon becomes a pivotal player, pledging cooperation with US agencies.

The Celsius Charges Laid Out

Cohen-Pavon faced a slew of serious charges in a Manhattan-based US District Court on September 14. These included conspiracy, securities fraud, market manipulation, and wire fraud. Central to these allegations was manipulating Celsius’ native token, CEL’s price.

Besides admitting his guilt, Cohen-Pavon expressed his willingness to aid ongoing investigations. The US Attorney’s office and the FBI will reportedly benefit from his cooperation. Moreover, he’s prepared to provide testimonies in court when summoned.

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Contrary to Cohen-Pavon, former CEO Alex Mashinsky denied any wrongdoing. On July 14, he proclaimed his innocence against multiple fraud charges. Seven distinct criminal counts, encompassing wire, securities, and commodities fraud, were aimed at Mashinsky. Allegedly, he masterminded a crafty scheme over several years, accruing a staggering $42 million by exploiting trusting customers.

SEC’s Accusations: Price Pumping

Not long after the charges against Cohen-Pavon and Mashinsky materialized, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chimed in. Both executives were accused of deceitfully inflating CEL’s price. What’s more, the SEC believes they liquidated their assets just before the catastrophic collapse of Celsius in July 2022.

The SEC wasn’t alone in its assertions. Several top-tier US agencies, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), joined the fray. These entities lodged similar complaints against both Celsius Network and Mashinsky.

In a landmark decision, the FTC took stringent measures against Celsius Network. Trading activities stopped, and a colossal fine of $4.7 billion was imposed. Mashinsky, despite the mounting pressure, opted against accepting the FTC’s proposed settlement. The story will continue to unfold over the next several months. 

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