The soccer star stands accused of deceptively promoting Binance, leading to investor losses
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Global football sensation Cristiano Ronaldo is now at the center of a class-action US lawsuit, with claims for damages exceeding $1 billion stemming from his endorsement of Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange. Filed in the Southern District of Florida, the lawsuit alleges that Ronaldo’s promotion of Binance, particularly its non-fungible tokens (NFTs), was “deceptive and unlawful,” resulting in substantial financial losses for investors.
At the heart of the dispute is Binance’s CR7 NFT collection, launched in collaboration with Ronaldo in November 2022. The plaintiffs claim that Ronaldo’s endorsement triggered a 500% surge in online searches for Binance, marking a significant impact on investor behavior. The lawsuit contends that these investors were subsequently led into making risky and unsafe investments in what the claimants term “unregistered securities.”
According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), celebrities endorsing financial products, including crypto assets, are required to disclose payment details to the public. The lawsuit accuses Ronaldo of failing to adhere to this legal obligation, claiming that transparency was lacking in the partnership with Binance.
Proud to be partnering with @binance Together we’ll give you the opportunity to own an iconic piece of sports history.I’m excited to take this journey with all of you. Let’s change the NFT game with #Binance. pic.twitter.com/SNSCMHggct
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) June 23, 2022
Neither Ronaldo nor Binance have officially commented on the legal proceedings. However, sources indicate that both parties are contemplating future collaboration, potentially adding complexity to the case.
This legal action comes on the heels of the US Justice Department’s demand for Binance to pay a hefty $4.3 billion in penalties, marking a challenging period for the cryptocurrency exchange. The company recently settled a separate lawsuit involving allegations of operating as an unregistered securities exchange and violating US securities laws.
Ronaldo is not the first celebrity to face legal repercussions over crypto endorsements. The lawsuit against him follows a broader trend, with other high-profile figures, including Tom Brady and Kim Kardashian, entangled in similar legal battles related to their promotion of cryptocurrency platforms.
As the case unfolds, it brings to light the intersection of celebrity endorsements, cryptocurrency investments, and regulatory scrutiny. The outcome of this lawsuit may have far-reaching implications for both celebrities and the cryptocurrency industry at large. Investors and industry observers are closely watching as legal proceedings unfold in what promises to be a landmark case at the intersection of sports, entertainment, and finance.
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