Former Celsius Crypto Lender Executive Pleads Guilty, Cooperates in US Probe

Former Celsius Crypto Lender Executive Pleads Guilty, Cooperates in US Probe
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Roni Cohen-Pavon, a former top executive at the defunct Celsius Network, has pleaded guilty to a series of charges related to fraud and market manipulation, Reuters reported on September 14. Cohen-Pavon’s guilty plea is part of his cooperation with the ongoing US probe into the Celsius Network’s activities and subsequent collapse.

During a recent court hearing in Manhattan, Roni Cohen-Pavon, who once held the position of Chief Revenue Officer at Celsius, confessed to four distinct charges. These charges encompassed securities fraud, conspiracy, manipulation of security prices, and wire fraud. The gravity of these charges underscores the extent of his involvement in the alleged misconduct.

What makes this case particularly notable is Cohen-Pavon’s willingness to assist US authorities in their ongoing investigations. His pledge to collaborate with the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) signifies a critical development in uncovering the truth behind the allegations.

Celsius Network's Troubled History

Cohen-Pavon has also agreed to testify in court if required, a move that could potentially provide crucial insights into the case.

Celsius Network’s Troubled History

Cohen-Pavon’s guilty plea is part of a broader legal battle surrounding Celsius Network, a cryptocurrency lending platform that is currently facing substantial legal troubles. The company’s founder, Alex Mashinsky, and Cohen-Pavon, Chief Revenue Officer, were both accused of artificially inflating the value of Celsius’s native token, CEL, and subsequently cashing out their holdings just before the platform’s collapse in July 2022.

Moreover, prosecutors allege that Alex Mashinsky, the former CEO of the troubled firm, profited approximately $42 million from these actions, while Cohen-Pavon reportedly earned around $3.6 million. Despite Cohen-Pavon’s admission of guilt, Mashinsky has claimed innocence and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is currently free on a $40 million bond.

The demise of Celsius Network is not an isolated incident within the cryptocurrency industry. As the sector witnessed rapid growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, companies like Celsius promised high yields and easy access to loans, attracting both retail and institutional investors. However, the subsequent downturn in cryptocurrency prices triggered a wave of customer withdrawals, leading to the platform’s collapse.


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