Ex-Celsius executive pleads guilty to four charges
Cohen-Pavon has a chance of leniency in sentencing depending on cooperation against Mashinsky
TK6photo/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks
Roni Cohen-Pavon, former chief revenue officer at Celsius, pled guilty to four charges according to multiple reports on Thursday.
Bloomberg reported that the charges included fraud, securities price manipulation and conspiracy. His sentencing is set for December 2024, and he has a chance of leniency depending on his cooperation in the case against his former boss, Alex Mashinsky.
Cohen-Pavon and former CEO Mashinsky are accused of inflating “the price of Celsius’s proprietary token, CEL,” in a July Department of Justice indictment.
“We’re not just sitting and watching the price. We’re on it all week and even now [another Celsius executive] and I are live with the market maker. The issue is that people are selling and no one is buying except for us,” Mashinsky allegedly said.
Cohen-Pavon is named as a co-defendant in the DOJ’s suit against Mashinsky, who also stands accused of defrauding investors. He faces a suit from the Federal Trade Commission as well as the DOJ.
An unsealed order in September showed that prosecutors froze Mashinsky’s assets in August.
Mashinsky’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the FTC suit on Tuesday, Sept. 12, claiming that the FTC does not “allege a violation of an FTC rule.”
However, lawyers for his co-defendant Hanoch Goldstein said, “Mashinsky was responsible for leading almost all of the acts of misconduct alleged in the Complaint, including conducting weekly marketing and advertising videos called ‘Ask Mashinsky Anything.”
Mashinsky’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Cohen-Pavon’s plea.
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