Episode 286 — Matt Stankiewicz on Ripple Decision and Indictment of Celsius Network CEO

Matt Stankiewicz, Partner at The Volkov Law Group, rejoins the podcast to review the recent Ripple decision by District Judge Torres at the Southern District of New York and the recent indictment of Celsius Networks’ CEO.

On July 13, 2022, Judge Analisa Torres issued her long awaited ruling on the summary judgment motions in the SEC’s case against Ripple Labs, Inc. (“Ripple”).  The 34-page order provided a win for both the SEC and for Ripple Labs, suggesting that some sales of Ripple’s XRP token constituted securities, but that other sales did not.  Proponents of the cryptocurrency industry celebrated this ruling, as it suggests that the XRP tokens themselves are not securities.  Ostensibly, this ruling could provide significant support for the fledgling industry as regulatory pressure mounts.

On July 13, 2023, U.S. prosecutors unsealed an indictment against Alexander Mashinsky, the founder and former CEO of beleaguered Celsius Network LLC (“Celsius”) charging him with securities fraud, commodities fraud, and wire fraud.  The DOJ alleges that Mashinsky defrauded customers by misleading them about Celsius’s operations, specifically related to the company’s success and profitability, along with the investments that Celsius ultimately made utilizing customer funds.  The indictment further charges Mashinsky and Roni Cohen-Pavon, former Chief Revenue Officer of Celsius, with conspiracy, securities fraud, market manipulation, and wire fraud.  These additional charges stem from the alleged manipulation of the price of Celsius’ CEL token. 

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