Celsius execs withdrew millions before bankruptcy, court filings show

LONDON – Top executives at Celsius Network withdrew at least US$30 million (S$43 million) of cryptocurrencies in the month before suspending customer withdrawals from the platform, according to bankruptcy court documents filed by lawyers for the crypto lender in New York late on Wednesday.

Then chief executive officer Alex Mashinsky, co-founder Daniel Leon and chief technology officer Nuke Goldstein, and entities identified in the documents as their related parties, made a series of withdrawals in May totalling more than US$30 million, these filings allege. Transactions were denominated in Bitcoin, Ether, USDC, Celsius’ own CEL token and “wrapped” Bitcoin.

Mr Mashinsky withdrew about US$10 million in cryptocurrency over the course of May, the filing shows. Mr Leon withdrew about US$7 million; net of deposits, his withdrawals amounted to about US$3.1 million, the documents show. The calculations include withdrawals by entities and people related to the executives, as designated by Celsius advisers.

Mr Goldstein withdrew around US$13 million. Lawyers for Mr Goldstein told Bloomberg that net of deposits, the withdrawals attributed to the CTO and related parties totalled about US$559,000.

A Celsius representative did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Neither Mr Mashinsky nor Mr Leon returned multiple requests for comment.

The report, prepared by Celsius advisers, notes that some transactions marked as “withdrawals” may represent transfers from one Celsius account type to another. The company’s advisers are continuing to analyse whether any transfers or withdrawals from the platform could be grounds for a lawsuit, according to the report.

Celsius, once one of the industry’s most prominent lenders, suspended customer withdrawals in June and filed for bankruptcy protection the following month after making risky bets before the broader crypto market soured. The bankruptcy judge presiding over the case recently appointed an examiner to explore allegations of misconduct against the company and its executives.

Mr Mashinsky stepped down from his position as CEO last month, followed by Mr Leon whose resignation from the firm was confirmed by Celsius on Tuesday. BLOOMBERG

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