The founder of the now-collapsed crypto trading company FTX has been hit with a class action lawsuit by investors alleging he and other high-profile celebrities — such as legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady and NBA star Stephen Curry — violated Florida law and made consumers suffer more than $11 billion in damages.
The 41-page document filed on behalf of Oklahoma resident Edwin Garrison in the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Florida comes as FTX, led by crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, filed for bankruptcy last week.
The lawsuit, which names “Sam Bankman-Fried, Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, Shaquille O’Neal, Udonis Haslem, David Ortiz, William Trevor Lawrence, Shohei Ohtani, Naomi Osaka, Lawrence Gene David, and Kevin O’Leary,” seeks to make them “responsible for the many billions of dollars in damages they caused Plaintiff and the Classes and to force Defendants to make them whole.”
The suit describes the well-known celebrities as “all parties who either controlled, promoted, assisted in, and actively participated in FTX Trading and FTX US (collectively, the “FTX Entities”), offer and sale of unregistered securities in the form of yield-bearing accounts (YBAs) to residents of the United States.”
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“The Deceptive and failed FTX Platform was based upon false representations and deceptive conduct,” the lawsuit reads. “Although many incriminating FTX emails and texts have already been destroyed, we located them and they evidence how FTX’s fraudulent scheme was designed to take advantage of unsophisticated investors from across the country, who utilize mobile apps to make their investments. As a result, American consumers collectively sustained over $11 billion dollars in damages.”
The lawsuit says Brady and his ex-wife Bündchen are “FTX ambassadors” who “joined the company’s $20-million ad campaign in 2021,” filming a commercial “showing them telling acquaintances to join the FTX platform.”
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“Defendant Stephen Curry had his own nationwide ad campaign pushing the Deceptive FTX Platform, known as the “#notanexpert” campaign. Throughout the ad, Curry repeatedly denies being cast as an expert in cryptocurrency, culminating in his statement that ‘I’m not an expert, and I don’t need to be. With FTX I have everything I need to buy, sell, and trade crypto safely,’” the lawsuit also says.
The lawsuit was filed in Florida because the defendants, it says, “conduct business in Florida, and/or have otherwise intentionally availed themselves of the Florida consumer market through the promotion, marketing, and sale of FTX’s YBAs in Florida, which constitutes committing a tortious act within the state of Florida.”
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