Monday, January 9, 2023

Who is Alex Mashinsky, the man behind the alleged Celsius crypto fraud?

Mashinsky, 57, fraudulently promoted Celsius as a safe alternative to banks, while concealing that it was losing hundreds of millions of dollars in risky investments, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The civil lawsuit seeks to ban Mashinsky from doing business in New York and have him pay damages, restitution and disgorgement. James' lawsuit is the latest black eye for the crypto sector, which has been rocked by accusations against FTX crypto exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried. The former mogul, who has been accused of cheating investors and causing billions of dollars in losses, on Tuesday pleaded not guilty. Mashinsky, a native of Ukraine whose family emigrated to Israel, decided to move to New York after he took a trip to the city in 1988, he told a Forbes podcast. "I looked around and I'm like, I'm never going back," he said. Since then, he has founded eight companies, including Arbinet, which went public in 2004, and Transit Wireless, which provides Wi-Fi to the New York City subway.

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