- Celsius CFO arrested on money laundering charges in Israel.
- Celsius responded with a tweet stating that the firm was aware of the situation, that the arrests were unrelated to Celsius, and that the employee, Shalem, had been suspended.
Yaron Shalem, the CFO of Celsius, was one of seven people detained in Tel Aviv, Israel. The charges come from his past work at Singulariteam, led by Moshe Hogeg, who was arrested last week. The individuals had consistently perpetrated investment fraud, according to the Israeli police’s official Twitter page.
According to a statement from Celsius, the arrest of Shalem has nothing to do with his job at the bitcoin lending platform.
“While this is in no way related to the employee’s time or work at Celsius Network, the employee was immediately suspended. We have also verified that no assets were misplaced or mishandled,” Celsius stated.
They went on to say that all of the accused had lied to investors and collected tens of millions of shekels apiece.
Hogeg is regarded in Israel as a “crypto mogul,” having founded several crypto companies, notably Sirin Labs, a blockchain phone firm that received $157 million in an initial coin offering in 2018.
Chinese investors sued Hogeg in 2017 for his participation in an ICO in which the funds obtained were allegedly pocketed instead of being used to build the protocol.
According to Sirin Labs’ website, Alex Mashinsky, the CEO of Celsius, was an advisor to Hogeg’s Sirin Labs in 2019. At this moment, it’s unknown what, if any, role he plays with organizations connected to Hogeg. After quitting the previous Singulariteam firm, which is currently under police investigation, Yaron Shalem, the now-suspended CFO of Celsius, joined this year.
The court hearings are set for next week, and they will most likely reveal the full scope and gravity of Shalem’s allegations.
Coindesk got court records from Israel that list 17 defendants, including Shalem. Money laundering, fraud, and sexual assault are among the allegations. However, it’s unclear which ones Shalem will be held accountable for. Hogeg, the CEO of the firms under investigation, has already been investigated, primarily for conduct during the 2017 ICO boom.