Alex Mashinsky's assets frozen by US court as part of criminal case

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A federal judge has ordered that certain bank accounts and property connected to former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky be frozen following a motion from the United States Justice Department.

According to a Sept. 5 filing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a judge signed off on a request to unseal a restraining order related to Mashinsky’s assets. The Justice Department can freeze accounts at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch under the names of holding companies as well as accounts at First Republic Securities, SoFi Bank and SoFi Securities under Mashinsky’s name.

Mashinsky’s property in Austin, Texas — which he purchased with his wife, Kristine, in 2021 — was also included in the order. The house had been listed for sale for more than a year, around the time Celsius filed for bankruptcy in July 2022.

Mashinsky, who co-founded the crypto lending platform Celsius in 2017, stepped down as CEO in September 2022, saying at the time his role had become an “increasing distraction” amid users facing “difficult financial circumstances.” The firm had already been a target by officials at the state and federal level for allegedly offering unregistered securities. 

Related: What criminal charges for Celsius ex-CEO mean for crypto industry

In July, U.S. authorities arrested Mashinsky, alleging the former CEO misled Celsius investors and defrauded users out of billions of dollars. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on $40-million bail, subject to restrictions including electronic monitoring and not withdrawing, transferring or receiving more than $10,000 without prior approval.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission both filed civil cases against Mashinsky in July, announcing settlements with Celsius amid the former CEO’s criminal and civil charges. The Federal Trade Commission also issued $4.7 billion in fines to Celsius for allegedly “duping” users, but suspended the judgement in order for the platform to use the assets as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.

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