Cristiano Ronaldo faces a $1 billion proposed class-action lawsuit over his involvement in the promotion and sale of unregistered securities alongside Binance.
According to a filing on November 27 in a United States district court in Florida, plaintiffs allege losses from the sale of these securities on the now legally embroiled crypto exchange Binance.
In June 2022, Binance entered a multi-year agreement with Cristiano Ronaldo, seeking to capitalize on the star’s followers and fame to attract users to the crypto exchange. The partnership aimed to launch non-fungible token (NFT) initiatives to engage the community.
The first NFT collection debuted in November 2022, followed by two additional releases, including the recent “ForeverZone” collection. These NFT sales effectively promoted the exchange, resulting in a 500% increase in Binance searches the week after the first sale.
The lawsuit contends that Cristiano Ronaldo either knew or should have known that the sold securities were unregistered.
This legal action follows Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s admission of guilt for violating money laundering laws in the past. As part of a substantial settlement with the Department of Justice, Binance is required to pay over $4 billion in fines, with Zhao personally contributing $50 million upon stepping down as CEO.
The Security Exchange Commission (SEC) appears to be intensifying measures to protect users, particularly in the evolving landscape of Web3, as the crypto domain faces increased scrutiny against illicit activities.
Globally, governments are taking proactive measures to safeguard users from fraud and illegal activities. Notably, China has recently classified NFT theft as a criminal activity, aligning it with other illegal actions and signaling a concerted effort to prevent such activities.