Alex Mashinsky – former boss of defunct crypto lending firm Celsius – is scheduled to begin his criminal fraud trial on September 17, 2024.
- US District Judge John Koeltl confirmed the news during a hearing on Tuesday, adding that there will be three pretrial conferences in March, July, and September.
- In the meantime, Mashinsky will remain free on $40 million bail, while still subject to electronic monitoring and major restrictions on expenditures over $10,000.
- Mashinsky is beleaguered with a range of fraud and conspiracy charges related to his high-risk lending firm, one of which includes securities fraud. Prosecutors include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- Speaking before the judge on Tuesday, Mashinsky’s defense lawyers hinted that part of their defense may be to claim cryptocurrencies are not securities, which remains a contentious legal issue in the United States.
- “The law about what is a security is fluid,” said defense attorney Robert Frenchman, according to Bloomberg.
- The trial date stands over a year out from FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF)’s court trial, which began on Tuesday.
- Like Mashinsky, FTX is charged with commodities fraud, securities fraud, and wire fraud, alongside conspiracy to defraud his exchange’s customers.
- Last month, Celsius creditors voted in favor of a restructuring plan that will see roughly $2 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) returned to them, alongside equity distribution in a new company that’s inherited some of Celsius’ old businesses.