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Alex Mashinsky seeks to drop FTC’s complaint entirely

alex-mashinsky-seeks-to-drop-ftcs-complaint-entirely
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Alex Mashinsky seeks to drop FTC’s complaint entirely

Celsius Network CEO has asked the court to dismiss the complaints by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against him, claiming that he did not violate any law. 

Co-founder and former CEO of bankrupt crypto lending platform Celsius Network Alex Mashinsky’s lawyers, in a court filing on Sept. 11, argued that the FTC could not provide evidence for its allegation that the former Celsius boss is violating” or “about to violate” considering that Mashinsky already resigned from his CEO position. 

The filing, which included former chief technology officer Hanoch “Nuke” Goldstein’s motion to dismiss, claimed that the FTC did not make any allegations of breaking its rule, adding that the federal agency is “not entitled to monetary relief” based on the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA). 

Mashinsky’s lawyers also said that the FTC’s “allegations do not support a claim” that the Celsius CEO deliberately made a “misstatement to fraudulently obtain customer information from a financial institution”, stating that the accusations do not meet the requirement to state a claim under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) of 1999. The GLBA seeks to regulate how financial services companies handle customers’ private information.

Celsius, one of the industry’s most prominent crypto companies, collapsed amid the market downturn and filed for bankruptcy in July 2022, causing investors huge losses. 

In July 2023, a year after going into bankruptcy, Mashinsky was arrested, with three United States federal agencies — the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the FTC each suing the former CEO and Celsius for rule violations, fraud, false representation of company’s financial health and misleading customers.

The FTC announced that the agency reached a settlement with Celsius and its affiliated companies, which included a payment of $4.7 billion and a permanent ban from offering and promoting its services involving customers’ assets. However, the fine has been suspended to allow the embattled crypto lender to repay users in the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. 

Meanwhile, Celsius executives Mashinsky Shlomi Daniel Leon and Goldstein did not agree to a settlement, with the FTC stating that it would move forward with its case against the executives in federal court. 

While Mashinsky was released on bail following an agreement to a $40 million personal recognizance bond, the Department of Justice (DoJ) recently froze the ex-CEO’s bank accounts and assets.