Class Action Against Cristiano Ronaldo
The legendary football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is facing a court case from plaintiffs who claim to have suffered significant losses due to his promotion of Binance. The world’s largest crypto exchange is currently embroiled in legal issues with United States regulators.
Earlier this week, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in a United States district court in Florida alleging that the footballer promoted, assisted in, and actively participated in offering and selling unregistered securities in partnership with the exchange. In 2022, Binance announced a multi-year deal with the Portuguese athlete to promote several of his non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with at least three collections linked to the exchange.
According to the plaintiffs, Ronaldo’s promotion of Binance resulted in massive investor losses. They accuse Ronaldo of actively endorsing unlicensed securities products.
The Plaintiffs Case
According to the lawsuit, Ronaldo was more than just a face for the promotions; he was actively involved in facilitating the sale of securities without proper registration. They believe both parties’ actions deliberately leverage Ronaldo’s celebrity status.
The lawsuit revealed that users who participated in Ronaldo’s NFTs on Binance were more likely to use the platform for other purposes, such as investing in what they consider unregistered securities, such as Binance’s BNB and crypto yield programs. The complainants also argue that Ronaldo’s massive social media following (850 million) significantly increased Binance’s visibility.
The lawsuit further claimed that his NFT sales were highly effective in promoting the exchange, resulting in a 500% increase in searches for Binance following the sale. According to allegations, the Portuguese legend should have been aware of Binance’s purported sale of unregistered crypto securities, given his investment experience and extensive resources.
The lawsuit cites the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) guidance cautioning celebrities about disclosing payments received for endorsing crypto assets, which Ronaldo allegedly failed to do. Thus, the class-action lawsuit’s lead plaintiffs, Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdara, and Gordon Lewis, seek monetary damages and legal expenses reimbursement for the losses.
Binance And Changpeng Zhao’s Challenges
Furthermore, Changpeng Zhao, the Binance founder, and the Binance exchange are still embroiled in major legal tussles with United States’ regulators after admitting guilt and agreeing to a $4.3 billion settlement with the government. The settlement relates to Binance’s anti-money laundering violations and its operations in the US.
In addition, the leading crypto platform has agreed to a five-year compliance monitoring period overseen by the US Department of Justice and the US Department of the Treasury. To complicate matters, the SEC has filed a separate lawsuit against Binance, accusing it of selling unregistered securities.
Meanwhile, experts believe Binance’s agreement with the US Department of Justice (DoJ), Treasury Department, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) would have industry-wide implications. Austin Campbell, founder and managing partner of Zero Knowledge Consulting, opined that the deal would positively influence the crypto and blockchain industries in the long term.