Alex Mashinsky waives right to ‘conflict-free representation’ after concerns about lawyers

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Former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky has waived any potential conflict of interest in legal representation following a short hearing in a New York courtroom.

According to a Feb. 20 X thread by Inner City Press, Mashinsky appeared in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for a Curcio hearing, in which the judge asked him questions about his legal representation. The former Celsius CEO reportedly waived his right to any potential conflict with lawyers Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young, who have also filed notices of appearance in the criminal case against former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried.

John George Koeltl reportedly informed Mashinsky that “Celsius may claim to be a victim of Alameda Research,” but lawyers couldn’t use documents that potentially conflicted with the two cases. Bankman-Fried’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 28, while Mashinsky’s criminal trial is expected to start on Sept. 17.

“This is my first time in a court,” said Mashinsky, according to Inner City Press. “I am not an expert in this space. I am spending money to prove my innocence. I assume SBF’s sentencing will be completed before my trial. But we cannot know.”

Prosecutors in both Mashinsky’s and Bankman-Fried’s cases called for Curcio hearings in February to address concerns about potential conflicts of interest. The U.S. government said Mashinsky had partially blamed Celsius’ collapse on FTX’s sister firm, Alameda Research, possibly due to SBF’s actions.

Related: Celsius distributes $2B of crypto to 172K creditors

With Mashinsky waiving any potential conflicts in his case, Bankman-Fried is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 21 for a similar Curcio hearing. The former FTX CEO has been largely out of the spotlight since he was convicted of seven felony counts in November 2023, but on Feb. 19, photos of SBF surfaced showing a rare look at his life behind bars.

Mashinsky resigned as the CEO of Celsius in September 2022. In July 2023, he was indicted on seven felony counts, including securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud related to his activities at the platform. At the time of publication, he was free on $40-million bail until his trial.

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