Cristiano Ronaldo, the celebrated soccer icon, finds himself embroiled in legal turmoil as a class-action lawsuit emerges, alleging financial losses due to his association with cryptocurrency exchange Binance. The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 27 in a Florida District Court, accuses Ronaldo of facilitating the sale of unregistered securities in conjunction with Binance, stemming from their mid-2022 partnership agreement.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Alleged Role in Binance NFT Promotion
Ronaldo’s collaboration with Binance involved promoting a series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the platform. However, the lawsuit contends that Ronaldo’s endorsement not only encouraged investment in his NFTs but also prompted users to explore other Binance offerings, including what the plaintiffs claim are unregistered securities like Binance’s BNB token and its crypto yield programs.
The complaint emphasizes the significant influence of Ronaldo, who boasts a staggering 850 million followers across multiple social media platforms. Lawyers argue that Ronaldo’s endorsement exponentially boosted Binance’s visibility, evident in a 500% surge in searches for “Binance” post his promotion. Allegations assert that Binance intended to leverage Ronaldo’s positive image to convince consumers of the exchange’s reliability, particularly in cryptocurrency transactions.
Moreover, the lawsuit raises concerns about Ronaldo’s suitability to endorse financial products, citing his lack of expertise in investment matters and questioning his compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidelines. These guidelines necessitate celebrities to disclose any compensation received for promoting cryptocurrencies, which the plaintiffs argue Ronaldo failed to fulfil.
Plaintiffs Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdara, and Gordon Lewis seek damages and legal fees coverage in this lawsuit against Ronaldo.
Binance Legal Troubles Amplify with SEC and Ronaldo Lawsuits
Simultaneously, Binance faces its own array of legal challenges. Founder Changpeng Zhao recently admitted guilt and agreed to a $4.3 billion settlement with the US for money laundering and operating an unregistered money-transmitting business. Zhao, who stepped down as CEO, faces potential imprisonment according to federal guidelines, while Binance agreed to compliance monitoring for up to five years by the Justice Department and Treasury.
In a parallel ordeal, the SEC has filed a lawsuit against Binance, alleging various charges, including the sale of unregistered securities. Ongoing investigations suggest potential misappropriation of customer funds by Binance, amplifying the legal complexities surrounding the cryptocurrency exchange.