Former Celsius CEO seeks dismissal of FTC case
- In July, authorities arrested Mashinsky, accusing him of fraud and price manipulation involving the CEL token.
- His legal team has characterized these charges as “baseless.”
Former Celsius CEO, Alex Mashinsky, is actively seeking to have the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) dismiss its case against him, as per a court filing on 11 September.
Mashinsky was arrested in July and faced allegations of fraud and manipulating the Celsius [CEL] token’s price. These charges were levied against him by a combination of entities, including the Department of Justice, consumer-protection bodies, and securities and commodities regulators.
Alex Mashinsky pushes for case dismissal
Mashinsky, who has consistently maintained his innocence, previously pleaded not guilty to the multiple counts brought against him. His legal team had initially characterized these charges as “baseless.” Now, they are contending that the FTC should drop claims of misleading investors.
According to Mashinsky’s lawyers, the allegations failed to substantiate a claim that he knowingly made false statements with the intent to fraudulently obtain customer information from a financial institution. Such intent is a requirement under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a law dating back to 1999.
Furthermore, both Mashinsky and his former Chief Technology Officer Hanoch “Nuke” Goldstein have asserted that the FTC should establish clearer rules before pursuing novel cases such as those related to marketing fraud.
In a separate filing, Goldstein conveyed his belief that his association with other Celsius executives unjustly linked him to the case. He also pointed to the FTC’s reliance on his retweet of a Celsius blog as evidence.
In parallel to these legal developments, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams has requested that the court pause FTC’s proceedings. This request aims to prevent any potential prejudice to the parallel criminal case related to Mashinsky.
Mashinsky’s departure from Celsius occurred in September 2022, not long after the company filed for bankruptcy in July. Following his arrest, Mashinsky secured his release on a $40 million bond. Recently, a court order froze his banking and real estate assets.