Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky.

Bankrupt Celsius sues ex-money manager over tens of millions in losses

The collapsed crypto lender is accusing Jason Stone and his company KeyFi of "gross negligence" and "extraordinarily inept" crypto investing

Celsius Network on Tuesday sued a former investment manager, accusing him of losing or stealing tens of millions of dollars in assets before the crypto lender went bankrupt last month.
In a complaint filed in Manhattan bankruptcy court, Celsius accused Jason Stone and his company KeyFi of "gross negligence" and "extraordinarily inept" crypto investing, after Stone falsely portrayed himself as a pioneer in the field.
Celsius said Stone proved "incapable" of deploying coins profitably, causing "many tens of millions of dollars" in losses.
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מייסד צלזיוס אלכס משינסקי
מייסד צלזיוס אלכס משינסקי
Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky.
(Photo: Bloomberg)
It said he then misappropriated assets to buy hundreds of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that he stored out of reach, and covered his tracks by using Tornado Cash, a crypto "mixer" that the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned on August 8 because it might help launder cybercrime proceeds.
Tuesday's lawsuit was filed six weeks after KeyFi sued Celsius in a New York state court in Manhattan.
It claimed that Celsius ran a Ponzi scheme, mismanaged customer deposits, failed to hedge investments, and cheated Stone out of potentially hundreds of millions of dollars of compensation.
Stone worked with Celsius for about seven months ending in March 2021, court papers show.
In an emailed statement, Stone's lawyer Kyle Roche said KeyFi's compensation, including NFTs, had been authorized by Celsius Chief Executive Alex Mashinsky.
"Celsius's most recent filing is an attempt to rewrite history and use KeyFi and Mr. Stone as a scapegoat for their organizational incompetence," Roche said.
Both lawsuits seek to recoup sums that each side believes the other owes, plus compensatory and punitive damages.

Celsius, based in Hoboken, New Jersey, filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors on July 13, one month after freezing withdrawals and transfers for its 1.7 million customers because of "extreme" market conditions.
Celsius listed estimated assets and liabilities on a consolidated basis in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion, according to a court filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of New York. The company said it has $167 million in cash on hand, which will provide liquidity to support certain operations during the restructuring process.
Celsius was co-founded in 2017 by Israeli Daniel Leon, President and COO of Celsius, CEO Alex Mashinsky, and CTO Nuke Goldstein. The company, which raised $750 million in funding late last year, reaching a valuation of $3 billion, offered interest-bearing products to customers who deposit their cryptocurrencies with the company, and lends out cryptocurrencies to earn a return. As of May 17, the company had processed $8.2 billion worth of loans and had $11.8 billion in assets, according to its website.