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Celsius: A look into the crypto lender’s ex-CEO may solve the bankruptcy puzzle 

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Alex Mashinsky, the single-most controversial figure in the Celsius Network [CEL] bankruptcy saga, was back in the spotlight. And this time around, the claims that haunt the executive aren’t ones that can be given a miss. The company’s founder reportedly withdrew as much as $10 million from the exchange just weeks before it filed for bankruptcy. 

Suspicious nature of withdrawal

According to an article published by The Financial Times, individuals around the CEO shed light on the issue. Apparently, Mashinsky withdrew $2 million worth of Celsius’ native token CEL along with $8 million. 

The timing of the transaction in question doesn’t help Mashinsky as he was and has been subject to increased scrutiny lately. Furthermore, the revelation also raised an important question. Did Celsius know about their poor financial health and still choose to provide false assurances to their clients?

To add fuel to the aforementioned claim, Celsius, in a 7 June blog post, explicitly assured customers that all was well with the network. Additionally, the company stated that it “has the reserves (and more than enough ETH) to meet obligations, as dictated by our comprehensive liquidity risk management framework.”

Furthermore, Celsius encouraged clients to stay on the exchange. The network also informed users it had enough reserves to cover any liabilities that would arise due to the Terra collapse. And all this, barely a week before suspending withdrawals on the platform on 12 June.

A hot summer day for Celsius 

A spokesperson for Celsius explained the reason for the suspicious withdrawals. The spokesperson stated that the $8 million were to be used for paying state and federal taxes. Additionally, the withdrawal of the $2 million worth of CEL was for Mashinsky’s estate planning. 

“In the nine months leading up to that withdrawal, he consistently deposited cryptocurrency in amounts that totaled what he withdrew in May,” the spokesperson added.   

The spokesperson also stated that Mashinsky and his family still had $44 million worth of crypto assets stuck on the network. This disclosure was made voluntarily to the Celsius Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors amid the bankruptcy proceedings.

What to expect after 6 October

The withdrawal claims were made two days after the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) objected to the $23 million stablecoin sale proposed by the defunct lender. The DOJ joined multiple state regulators in their move to block Celsius’ stablecoin sale. The DOJ further cited lack of transparency for rejecting the said request and a pending approval from the independent examiner appointed by the bankruptcy court.

At the next bankruptcy hearing scheduled for 6 October, Celsius will likely outline the transactions of Mashinsky. The bankrupt entity is also expected to furnish other details testifying to the firm’s current financial health. 

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Saman Waris works as a News Editor at AMBCrypto. She has always been fascinated by how the tides of finance and technology shape communities across demographics. Cryptocurrencies are of particular interest to Saman, with much of her writing centered around understanding how ideas like Momentum and Greater Fool theories apply to altcoins, specifically, memecoins. A graduate in history, Saman worked the sports beat before diving into crypto. Prior to joining AMBCrypto 2 years ago, Saman was a News Editor at Sportskeeda. This was preceded by her stint as Editor-in-Chief at EssentiallySports.
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