S. Daniel Leon, co-founder and chief strategy officer of bankrupt crypto lending platform Celsius, has stepped down, according to people familiar with the matter and an internal memo viewed by CNBC.
Leon’s departure was announced on Tuesday. His exit comes a week after the company’s CEO, Alex Mashinsky, submitted a letter of resignation.
Lior Koren, previously the company’s global tax director, is taking over and will be operating out of Israel, the email said. Celsius confirmed Leon’s resignation in an email to CNBC.
Celsius, which is based Hoboken, New Jersey, made headlines in June after it froze customer accounts during the so-called crypto winter and an industrywide liquidity crunch.
Prior to the freeze, Celsius was one of the largest crypto lending platforms with more than $8 billion in loans to clients and almost $12 billion in assets under management. The firm had attracted 1.7 million customers by offering yields as high as 17% on crypto deposits.
Behind the scenes, Celsius would lend customer funds out to hedge funds and others willing to pay an even higher yield. It also invested in other high-risk cryptocurrency projects, according to internal documents shared with CNBC.
Celsius filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July with a $1.2 billion hole in its balance sheet.
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