Celsius To Shell Out Some $5M on Independent Examiner

“If the examiner is going to meet the court’s deadlines, the pace of access to documents will need to be accelerated,” court filing says


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key takeaways

  • The examiner filed a preliminary statement detailing her work plan going forward
  • The investigation report is due on Dec. 10, but she hasn’t received most of the data requested so far

Shoba Pillay, the court-appointed examiner in Celsius’ bankruptcy case, filed a work plan that estimates the total fees for her investigation will be somewhere between $3 million to $5 million.

Her first priority is to grasp the volume and extent of documents and data needed to be reviewed for the investigation, a Tuesday filing by the proposed counsel to the examiner shows.

Even after discussions with Celsius’ counsel and financial advisers, she has not yet received access to the requested documents needed for her work. But she expects to get it soon, as Celsius recently revealed a statement of financial affairs, the filing added.

Further meetings are expected to be held to allow Pillay to identify and gain any extra information needed for the completion of her report. She also expects to interview between 15 and 25 witnesses.

Because Pillay hasn’t received most of the data needed to assess the scope of her efforts, “any attempt to budget at this time is at best an educated guess,” it said.

Celsius is already racking up millions in expenses over its bankruptcy proceedings. Alvarez & Marsal North America, a financial adviser to the firm, asked to be paid $2.3 million (80% of the total compensation sought) for services rendered between July 14 and Aug. 31.

The crypto lender said in a tweet on Tuesday that it has filed a motion with the court to set a deadline for customers to submit proofs of claim. That motion is set to be heard on Nov. 1.

Celsius’ change in account offerings under examiner’s scanner

Pillay was appointed as the independent examiner on Sept. 29. Her responsibilities include investigating Celsius’ crypto holdings, including ascertaining where its cryptoassets were stored before and after bankruptcy and whether different types of accounts were commingled. 

She will also look a change in account offerings that started April 2022 from the Earn Program to the Custody Service for some customers, while others were placed in a “Withhold Account.” Her report is due on Dec. 10.

“If the examiner is going to meet the court’s deadlines, the pace of access to documents will need to be accelerated,” the filing said.

Her plan will be sent for approval and signature to Judge Martin Glenn on Oct. 21 at 12 pm ET. Any responses and objections can be sent by Oct. 18 at 4:00 pm ET.

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