Struggling lending platform Celsius wants to bring back former CFO Rod Bolger and pay him about $92,000 a month, prorated over a period of at least six weeks. The troubled creditor says it needs Bolger to help it navigate the bankruptcy process as an adviser, according to motion filed in the Southern District of New York.
“Due to Mr. Bolger’s familiarity with the Debtors’ business, the Debtors have requested, and Mr. Bolger has agreed, pending court approval, to continue to provide consulting and advisory services to the Debtors pursuant to an Advisory Services Agreement,” the filing states. “In exchange for the consulting services rendered by Mr. Bolger, the Debtors agree to pay Mr. Bolger the sum of C$120,000 per month prorated for partial months.”
The motion goes on to say that during Bolger’s tenure, he led efforts to stabilize the business during the turbulent market volatility of that year, directing the financial aspects of the business and acting as the company’s leader. Ultimately, it’s up to the Southern District of New York to decide whether to allow Bolger to get involved with Celsius. There is a Zoom hearing set for Monday, August 8 to consider the proposal.
Bolger, a former CFO of Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of America divisions, had previously been with the company for five months before resigning on June 30, about three weeks after the platform paused all withdrawals, citing “extreme market conditions.” Although he worked full-time at the company as CFO, this proposal shows 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 about $1.3 million.
The company subsequently appointed Chris Ferraro, then head of financial planning, analytics and investor relations for Celsius, as CFO. A few days after his appointment, the company declared bankruptcy.
Once a titan of the crypto-lending world, Celsius is in bankruptcy proceedings and facing allegations that it ran a Ponzi scheme, paying early investors with money it received from new users.
At its October 2021 peak, CEO Alex Mashinsky said that the crypto lender had $25 billion in assets under management. Now Celsius is down to $167 million in “cash on hand,” which it said would provide “sufficient liquidity” to support operations during the restructuring process. Celsius owes its users about $4.7 billion, according to his bankruptcy filing.
That filing also shows that Celsius has more than 100,000 lenders, some of whom have lent money to the platform without any collateral to back the deal. The list of the 50 largest unsecured creditors includes Sam Bankman-Fried’s trading firm Alameda Research, as well as an investment firm based in the Cayman Islands.
Retail investors petitioned the judge to help them recover some of their lost holdings, with some saying their life savings had effectively been wiped out.
CPA and Celsius investor with a large balance held on the Celsius platform filed an objection on Tuesday to challenge Celsius’ bid to reinstate the former CFO.