Attorneys with the United States Department of Justice have extra time to make discovery and give former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky’s defense team time to review related documents.
In a July 25 order, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl said he would exclude the time between July 25 and Oct. 3 from Speedy Trial Act calculations — the law which requires a federal criminal trial to begin within 70 days of an indictment being filed. He cited the “volume of discovery” as well as the “complexity of the case” against the former Celsius CEO.
“The Court finds that the ends of justice served by granting the continuance outweigh the best interest of the defendant and the public in a speedy trial,” said Koeltl.
The law requires prosecutors to largely disclose any information “favorable to an accused” that is “material either to guilt or to punishment” to Mashinsky’s legal team. The Oct. 3 conference will place Mashinsky in a New York courtroom just one day after the start of the trial against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who has been charged in the same district.
Celsius filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2022, weeks after the platform announced it would pause all withdrawals without providing a definitive timeline for their return. Mashinsky resigned as CEO in September 2022.
U.S. authorities charged and arrested Mashinsky on July 13 with securities fraud, commodities fraud and wire fraud related to allegedly defrauding customers and misleading them about certain information on Celsius’ business practices. The former Celsius CEO has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has been released on a $40 million bond.
The judge has yet to set a trial date for the former Celsius CEO’s criminal case. The fraud charges came in parallel to a complaint filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission against Mashinsky. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed its own civil suit against the former CEO, while the Federal Trade Commission announced it had issued a $4.7 billion fine to Celsius in July.