Celsius’ Former Chief Revenue Officer Pleads Guilty to Crypto Fraud

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  • Roni Cohen-Pavon has pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to market manipulation and fraud involving CEL tokens.
  • Cohen-Pavon has agreed to cooperate with the U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI in their investigation.
  • The court records note that Cohen-Pavon, an Israeli citizen, faces potential immigration consequences.

Roni Cohen-Pavon, former chief revenue officer at bankrupt crypto lender Celsius, has pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to cooperate with the investigations. Cohen-Pavon admitted to four charges that have a maximum sentence of 65 years.

Court records on September 11 showed that Cohen-Pavon admitted guilty to the following counts: Conspiring to manipulate the price of a security, CEL token; participating in a fraudulent scheme to manipulate the price of CEL token; manipulating the price or volume of CEL token and aiding and abetting the same; and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud investors in CEL token.

This admission comes alongside allegations against Celsius’s former CEO, Alex Mashinsky, who has also been charged with market manipulation and wire fraud but has not yet pleaded guilty. Cohen-Pavon agreed to assist the U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI with their investigation and to testify in court if required.

Prosecutors stated that Mashinsky gained $42 million from his sales and was released on a $40 million bond. Cohen-Pavon is an Israeli citizen and was reportedly abroad when the charges were announced.

The court record mentioned that a guilty plea and conviction could impact the defendant’s citizenship or immigration papers. It’s noted that non-U.S. citizens who are convicted are at risk of mandatory removal from the United States or facing other adverse immigration consequences.

The crypto community on Twitter has reacted to this news with enthusiasm, with some expressing hope that Cohen-Pavon’s cooperation could lead to Mashinsky’s conviction.  One user said, “That’s great news; hopefully Roni Cohen-Pavon can put Alex at the center of the crimes at Celsius and help bring about the conviction Alex deserves.”

Mashinsky has reportedly utilized customer funds to manipulate the price of CEL, and both Mashinsky and Cohen-Pavon were allegedly strategizing to manipulate the price. According to leaked WhatsApp chats, CEL’s price was fake, based on Celsius themselves spending millions per week keeping the price up.