Former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky Files Defense Motion in Response to NYAG’s Complaint
Celsius Network founder Alex Mashinsky – who was accused of defrauding investors out of billions of dollars in crypto by concealing the failing health of his now-bankrupt lending platform – has filed a response seeking to dismiss the New York State complaint against him.
The complaint was filed by New York State Attorney General Letitia James in January. It claimed that Mashinsky persisted in promoting Celsius as a safe alternative to banks, but users had to pay interest as high as 17% on deposits.
The civil lawsuit seeks to prohibit the exec from doing business in the New York state and compel him to compensate damages for violating laws such as the state’s Martin Act, which gives the NYAG broad power to pursue securities fraud cases.
In a newly filed defense motion, the 57-year-old Mashinsky argued that the complaint composed by NYAG “parrots misinformation” about him and Celsius Network and “borrows others’ baseless conclusions.” The former exec further added that the civil lawsuit against him “demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding” of the lender’s business, as well his role.
The filing contended NYAG of falsely pinning Celsius’ losses on the alleged misstatements on Mashinsky alone. It claimed that the company’s fall was a result of a liquidity crisis and circumstances outside of the exec’s (and Celsius’) control.
The response further alleges James’s lawsuit of “cherry-picking” fragments of statements and sound bites without broader context and denied claims of Celsius offering in securities nor commodities services.
The latest development comes amidst an auction with bidders vying to take over Celsius’ business. Leading crypto exchanges Coinbase and Gemini have joined the bidding race.
The embattled lender was also accused of poor record-keeping and glaring deficiencies in its internal systems. As a result, Celsius sought to consolidate its UK-based entity, Celsius Network Limited (CNL), and its US-based entity, Celsius Network (LLC), in hopes of getting its books in order.
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