Bankrupt crypto lending platform Celsius is trying to hire its CFO back at $92,000 a month, filings say

Embattled lending platform Celsius wants to bring back ex-CFO Rod Bolger and pay him about $92,000 a month, prorated over a period of at least six weeks. The embattled lender says it needs Bolger to help it navigate bankruptcy proceedings as an advisor, according to a motion filed with the Southern District of New York.

“Because of Mr. Bolger’s familiarity with the Debtors’ business, the Debtors have requested, and Mr. Bolger has agreed pending the Court’s approval, to continue providing advisory and consulting services to the Debtors pursuant to an Advisory Agreement,” the filing reads. “In consideration for the advisory services rendered by Mr. Bolger, the Debtors agree to pay Mr. Bolger the sum of CAD $120,000 per month, prorated for partial months.”

The motion goes on to say that during Bolger’s tenure, he led efforts to steady the business during turbulent market volatility this year, guiding the financial aspects of the business and acting as a leader of the company. Ultimately, it is up to New York’s Southern District to decide whether to allow Bolger to come onboard with Celsius. There is a Zoom hearing set for Monday, Aug. 8, to consider the motion.

Bolger, a former CFO for Royal Bank of Canada and divisions of Bank of America, was previously with the company for five months before resigning on June 30, about three weeks after the platform paused all withdrawals, citing “extreme market conditions.” While he worked full-time with the company as CFO, this motion shows that he had a base salary of $750,000 and a performance-based cash bonus of up to 75% of his base, in addition to stock and token options, bringing the top of his total income range to around $1.3 million.

The company subsequently installed Chris Ferraro, then the head of financial planning, analysis, and investor relations for Celsius, to the post of CFO. Within days of his appointment, the company filed for bankruptcy.

Once a titan of the crypto lending world, Celsius is in bankruptcy proceedings and facing down claims that it was running a Ponzi scheme by paying early depositors with the money it got from new users.

At its peak in October 2021, CEO Alex Mashinsky said the crypto lender had $25 billion in assets under management. Now, Celsius is down to $167 million “in cash on hand,” which it says will provide “ample liquidity” to support operations during the restructuring process. Celsius owes its users around $4.7 billion, according to its bankruptcy filing.

That filing also shows that Celsius has more than 100,000 creditors, some of whom lent the platform cash without any collateral to back up the arrangement. The list of its top 50 unsecured creditors includes Sam Bankman-Fried’s trading firm Alameda Research, as well as an investment firm based in the Cayman Islands.

Retail investors have filed pleas to the judge to help them recover some of their lost holdings, with some saying that their life savings have effectively been wiped out.

A CPA and Celsius investor with a large balance trapped on the Celsius platform filed an objection on Tuesday to challenge the motion by Celsius to reinstate its former CFO.

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