Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network has filed a complaint against lending firm EquitiesFirst Holdings in a bid to recoup assets.
According to a sealed adversary complaint filed on Sept. 6, Celsius is seeking injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment associated with the “recovery of money/property” — according to the title of the docket.
The filing named both EquitiesFirst and its CEO Alexander Christy as defendants. Additionally, Celsius filed a summons on the same day, requiring that the private lender provide a motion or answer within 35 days.
EquitiesFirst Holdings is an Indianapolis-based private lending company that reportedly owed Celsius Network $439 million as of July 2022.
Celsius first began taking collateralized loans from EquitiesFirst in 2019 to “support its operations” owing to what Alex Mashinsky described in a subsequent bankruptcy filing as a “lack of institutional lending available to cryptocurrency companies,” at the time.
However, in July 2021, Celsius Network sought to retrieve the collateral it had pledged to EquitiesFirst but was informed that the lender could not return the amount Celsius had provided.
As of July 2021, Celsius was owed a total of $509 million by EquitiesFirst. The increase from $439 million to $509 million was due to the loans being over-collateralized. Since September 2021, the debt has been slowly repaid at a rate of $5 million per month.
As of July 2022, EquitiesFirst owed Celsius $439 million, with the debt being comprised of $361 million in cash and 3,765 Bitcoin (BTC).
Celsius Network was among the major casualties of the 2022 bear market, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 14, 2022.
Celsius’ former CEO Alex Mashinky was arrested on July 13 this year, with authorities accusing him of misleading Celsius users and defrauding investors out of billions of dollars.
Notably, The Federal Trade Commission issued Celsius with $4.7 billion in fines for allegedly “duping” users, but suspended the judgement in order for the platform to use the assets as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.
Celsius creditors are currently voting on a settlement plan that — if approved — would see a consortium called Fahrenheit buy Celsius’ assets and return Celsius creditors funds by way of launching a new company.