Celsius’ Chief Revenue Officer Launched a Business With a Convicted Money Launderer: Report

Revelations about Roni Cohen-Pavon follow the arrest of Yaron Shalem, the crypto lender’s CFO, last month.

Dec 15, 2021 at 3:29 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 15, 2021 at 3:54 p.m. UTC

The chief revenue officer at crypto lending platform Celsius Network established a side business in May with a convicted money launderer, the Times of Israel reported.

Roni Cohen-Pavon is the second high-ranking Celsius executive to be named as a result of an investigation into alleged crypto fraudster Moshe Hogeg. Hogeg has denied the allegations.

Last month, CoinDesk revealed Celsius Chief Financial Officer Yaron Shalem had been arrested as part of the same investigation, having previously worked at Hogeg’s firm, Singulariteam. (Israeli media were unable to name Shalem because of a gagging order imposed by the courts.)

A probe into Cohen-Pavon found he’d registered a company in Israel with Eliran Oved, a convicted money launderer who spent a year in prison in Israel for running an illegal gambling website, Play2bet.com, between 2004 and 2008, the Times of Israel said.

Cohen-Pavon, a former attorney who joined London-based Celsius in September 2020, set up NNY Capital Ltd. on May 5, 2021, with Oved, who later transferred his shares to his wife, Liat Kurtz-Oved, the owner of an Israeli call center that ran the binary options website PlusOption.com, the online newspaper reported.

Presented with these findings, Celsius told the newspaper that it was not required to disclose information about Cohen-Pavon’s side businesses to U.S. regulators. Cohen-Pavon said the companies he established never had any business activity and were not related in any way to his work at Celsius Network.

Celsius had not replied to a CoinDesk email seeking comment by publication time.

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Ian Allison is a senior reporter at CoinDesk.

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