Cristiano Ronaldo Hit With $1 Billion Lawsuit Over Alleged Binance NFT Scam

Photo: Instagram/Cristiano Ronaldo

Soccer sensation Cristiano Ronaldo is embroiled in a $1 billion class-action lawsuit, accused of endorsing fraudulent non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in collaboration with Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange. 

The lawsuit, filed in a Florida court, alleges Ronaldo actively participated in the sale of unregistered securities, causing substantial financial losses for investors who bought NFTs of the star. Ronaldo's partnership with Binance, announced in November 2022, involved the sale of unique NFTs capturing iconic moments from his career. 

These digital assets gained popularity but are now at the center of legal scrutiny. The lawsuit contends that Ronaldo made deceptive statements and failed to disclose essential information, including his compensation from Binance.

Photo: Instagram/Cristiano Ronaldo

Furthermore, the plaintiffs argue that Binance and Ronaldo were aware that their promotions targeted crypto-unfamiliar consumers, exposing them to unregistered crypto securities with unpredictable volatility. The Securities and Exchange Commission Chair, Gary Gensler, emphasized the importance of celebrities disclosing their compensation for endorsing investment products, citing a previous case where Kim Kardashian faced a $1 million fine.

The class-action lawsuit seeks damages exceeding $1 billion, raising questions about the accountability of celebrities in the crypto space. Notably, Ronaldo continues to promote Binance, with recent endorsements on his social media account with over 110 million followers.

This legal action adds Ronaldo to the list of celebrities facing similar challenges in the crypto realm. Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Kim Kardashian, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. have all encountered lawsuits related to their involvement with digital financial platforms. 

The complex nature of endorsing financial instruments, as opposed to traditional products, has legal experts emphasizing the need for celebrities to consult securities lawyers before engaging in such sponsorships.

Meanwhile, Binance is grappling with its own set of issues, recently agreeing to pay over $4 billion in fines and penalties. The founder, Changpeng Zhao, stepping down as CEO and facing legal consequences, acknowledged mistakes in enabling illicit activities on the platform.

As the legal battle unfolds, it raises broader questions about the responsibility of both celebrities and crypto exchanges in safeguarding investors and ensuring transparency in the burgeoning NFT market.

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Source: CNN

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