The renowned soccer player, Cristiano Ronaldo, found himself entangled in a class-action lawsuit alleging investor damages resulting from his previous support of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
Ronaldo had inked a multi-year deal with Binance to promote his non-fungible token (NFT) collections, which garnered immediate attention from fans and collectors due to its inclusion of unique digital artworks and experiences.
Accusations of Unregistered Securities Promotion Against Cristiano Ronaldo and Binance
Cristiano Ronaldo stands accused of having coordinated with Binance to “promote, assist, and/or actively participate in the offer and sale of unregistered securities,” as stated in a filing submitted to a Florida District Court on November 27.
According to the lawsuit, the collaboration between Ronaldo and Binance, coupled with Ronaldo’s substantial influence, enticed unsuspecting investors to Binance. These investors allegedly fell prey to deceptive practices, making unregistered securities investments.
As per the complaint, individuals who registered for Cristiano Ronaldo’s NFTs were more likely to engage with Binance for purposes beyond the NFTs, including investing in what was described as unregistered securities such as the BNB coin and its cryptocurrency yield schemes.
Binance released a video featuring Ronaldo showcasing a t-shirt adorned with the number 7, his name, and the Binance logo on the sleeve.
The video further solidified Ronaldo’s association with the cryptocurrency sector, fueling speculation that he might become a brand ambassador for Binance.
Legal Actions Amidst Recent Cryptocurrency Controversies
These legal actions unfolded within a month and a week, respectively, following the conviction of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on seven fraud-related counts in a Manhattan federal court. Additionally, Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao pleaded guilty to multiple federal statute violations, including the Bank Secrecy Act.
Lawsuit Alleges Failure to Disclose Binance Dealings and Crypto Promo Earnings The lawsuit contends that given Ronaldo’s “huge resources to hire outside advisers” and his “investment knowledge,” he should have been aware of Binance offering unregistered crypto assets.
The complaint also alleges that Ronaldo failed to disclose the funds he received for promoting cryptocurrency. The document states:
“Evidence now reveals that Binance’s fraud was only able to reach such heights through the offer and sale of unregistered securities, with the willing help and assistance of some of the wealthiest, powerful, and recognized organizations and celebrities across the globe – just like Defendant Ronaldo.”
MLB, Formula 1, and Mercedes Racing Team Also Draw Legal Scrutiny Simultaneously, MLB, Formula 1, and its Mercedes racing team have become subjects of litigation seeking to recover $11 billion in FTX damages.
Class-action lawsuits targeting FTX officials, celebrities, and athletes who endorsed the exchange before its collapse have been filed by investors seeking restitution for losses incurred on the fraudulent cryptocurrency exchange. This legal action adds sports organizations to the growing list of entities facing such allegations.
These cases represent the latest developments in a series of coordinated legal actions seeking damages against FTX involving various celebrities, including Shohei Ohtani, Shaquille O’Neal, Trevor Lawrence, Stephen Curry, and Tom Brady, among others.