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Celsius execs cashed out millions before cryptocurrency company went bust

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Two former executives at Celsius Network cashed out millions in cryptocurrency shortly before the exchange declared bankruptcy this summer, court documents show. 

Former CEO Alex Mashinsky and ex-Chief Strategy Officer Daniel Leon in May withdrew $10 million and $11 million, respectively, according to a legal filing in the case. Celsius filed for Chapter 11 protection from its debts in July.

Mashinsky and Leon resigned last month. Celsius did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. 

The New Jersey company launched in 2018 and quickly became one of the darlings of the crypto community. Celsius marketed itself as a type of crypto bank, encouraging people to deposit their digital currencies with the firm and earning money by  borrowing or lending against those funds.  

In 2019, Celsius launched a mobile app and made its services available in 100 countries. A year later, the company landed millions of dollars in venture capital, which helped it launch a crypto-mining arm called Celsius Mining, which it still owns today. By the spring of 2021, Celsius had 200 employees and was managing about $10 billion worth of crypto assets on its platform. 

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But Celsius collapsed as the price of digital currencies plummeted this year. Goldstein said in September that the company is considering giving out IOU tokens as a promise to eventually make customers whole, according to an internal company call shared publicly by a Celsius customer. 

Celsius is also holding an auction on October 20 and may sell some of its assets, court documents show. Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of crypto exchange FTX, has expressed interest in buying some Celsius assets, Bloomberg News reported

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