The case against bankrupt crypto lender Celsius took a new turn as one of its former executives came forward. According to a report from Reuters, Roni Cohen-Pavon, ex-Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at the company, pleaded guilty to criminal charges.
Celsius Former Executive Pleads Guilty, What Are The Implications
The report indicates that Cohen-Pavon attended a hearing today, September 14th, with US District Judge John Koeltl. At the hearing, the former Celsius executive pleaded guilty to manipulating the price of a crypto token, CEL, and four other counts.
Cohen-Pavon is one of the Celsius executives under legal scrutiny due to its involvement with the collapse of the crypto lender. The former CRO at this company was charged with the founder and CEO, Alex Mashinsky, in July 2023.
Unlike Cohen-Pavon, Mashinsky pleaded not guilty during his hearing. The former executive is expecting a sentence on December 11, 2024. It is unclear, but likely, that today’s events were motivated by an agreement.
In the US judicial system, individuals often plead guilty to certain charges when they reach a deal with US law enforcement in exchange for information that could help them get another conviction. The most likely target is Mashinsky.
As Bitcoinist reported, following Mashinsky’s arrest and not-guilty plea, the Celsius founder posted bail and now awaits trial. Just yesterday, the crypto founder tried to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The Celsius former CEO has been accused of co-mingling, using his clients’ assets for his gain, and running an alleged fraudulent scheme. Celsius’ case has been heavily linked to that of the failed crypto exchange FTX and the collapse of the Terra (LUNA) ecosystem during the worst part of the “Crypto Winter” in 2022.
As of this writing, the CEL token trades at $0.10 after a significant downside price action pushed it from its 2023 highs north of $0.7.
Cover image from Unsplash, chart from Tradingview