Football Star Cristiano Ronaldo Sued for Binance Endorsement
Legal action taken against Ronaldo for alleged role in financial losses.
In a surprising turn of events, football icon Cristiano Ronaldo is facing a lawsuit in Florida for endorsing the cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance. This comes on the heels of the recent resignation and criminal charges against Binance’s former CEO, Changpeng Zhao.
The plaintiffs, Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdara, and Gordon Lewis, claim to have suffered financial losses as a result of Ronaldo’s promotion of the exchange. The platform is under scrutiny for allegedly failing to enforce sufficient anti-money laundering protocols. Moreover, Binance is currently under pressure from US authorities to settle a whopping $4.3 billion.
The charges against Ronaldo include “promotion, assisting, and/or actively participating in the offer and sale of unregistered securities in collaboration with Binance.” In 2022, Ronaldo entered into a long-term partnership with the exchange, endorsing a series of his non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The lawsuit suggests that those who participated in the NFT collection were more likely to use the exchange for various activities, including the purchase of unregistered securities. These securities include the BNB token and the exchange’s yield programs.
The legal complaint accuses Ronaldo of soliciting or aiding Binance in soliciting investments in unregistered securities by encouraging his vast following to invest with the Binance platform. The lawsuit alleges that Ronaldo was or should have been aware of “Binance selling unregistered crypto securities.” It also suggests that given his investment experience and substantial resources, Ronaldo could have sought external advice.
The lawsuit also refers to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) warning to celebrities about the need to disclose payments received for endorsing cryptocurrencies. The plaintiffs contend that Ronaldo did not disclose the payments he received from Binance.