Failed Crypto Lender Celsius Attempts to Recoup Assets From EquitiesFirst Holdings
Beleaguered crypto lending firm Celsius Network, that went bankrupt in July 2022, has filed an “adversary complaint” against private lending platform EquitiesFirst, in an attempt to recover assets.
The complaint was filed in a sealed bankruptcy document on Sept. 6, seeking injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment, related to the “recovery of money/property,” according to the docket entry on the bankruptcy page.
Celsius’s co-founder and former CEO Alex Mashinsky was arrested in July this year over fraud. According to the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, Mashinsky was charged with seven criminal counts, including securities, commodities and wire fraud.
A Sept. 5 court filing ordered to freeze Mashinksy's assets as the criminal case proceeds. Mashinsky has apparently lost control of funds in several bank accounts including Goldman Sachs, First Republic Securities, Merril Lynch, SoFi Bank, and SoFi Securities, per the payer.
Celsius filed a separate summons on the same day as the adversary complaint, asking EquitiesFirst to submit a motion or answer to the complaint within 35 days.
EquitiesFirst Owes $439 Million to Celsius
A Financial Times report in 2022 revealed that the digital assets lending firm is owed $439 million by EquitiesFirst, which forms a significant chunk of Celsius’s assets that hundreds of thousands of its customers will be relying on to recover some of their lost savings.
EquitiesFirst said at the time that it is repaying Cesius $5 million per month in cash and Bitcoin (BTC). The details of the debt first emerged in Celsius’ bankruptcy filing in July 2022, in which the company revealed the liabilities of assets.
Creditors of Celsius Network are voting on a separate bankruptcy-escape plan, whether to sell assets to the Fahrenheit consortium, as part of the bankruptcy proceeding. If approved, creditors can expect to recoup 67%-85% of holdings, the disclosures noted.