JPMorgan has hired Aaron Iovine, most recently head of policy and regulatory affairs of bankrupt crypto lender — and likely Ponzi scheme — Celsius Networks, as its new executive director of digital assets regulatory policy.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan who previously described cryptocurrencies as “decentralized Ponzi schemes,” clearly recognized that the company would benefit from someone with deeper expertise in how Ponzi schemes interact with regulations, and so brought on an experienced expert in the field.
Throughout Iovine’s tenure at Celsius, he demonstrated his ability to interface with regulators during the multiple state and federal investigations facing the company, and helped oversee the declaration of bankruptcy. The most recent filing from the Celsius Unsecured Creditor Committee stated: “Celsius is apparently subject to enforcement proceedings or investigations in at least 40 states, in addition to investigations or inquiries involving the federal government.”
The Vermont Department of Financial Regulations has said that, ignoring the value of the CEL token on its balance sheet, Celsius was insolvent as early as 2019, and that starting in 2020 the company was paying yields to existing investors with the assets of new depositors.
A number of other executives have also departed Celsius over the past 12 months. The firm’s CFO Yaron Shalem was arrested in connection with a fraud last year, and CEO Alex Mashinsky recently resigned. The firm as a whole appears to have shed more than 100 employees since filing for bankruptcy according to its recent filing requesting to give employees large bonuses.
Celsius has struggled in bankruptcy, with its Kelvin project appearing to be an absolute bust, and with expensive bankruptcy proceedings slowly bleeding its coffers dry.