Cristiano Ronaldo, the football sensation, is now at the center of a lawsuit over his promotion of the crypto exchange Binance.
The lawsuit, filed in Florida on November 27, alleges that Ronaldo promoted and sold unregistered securities in collaboration with Binance.
Binance collaborated with Ronaldo in 2022, using the football star’s celebrity to promote a series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) featuring the renowned athlete.
According to the lawsuit, Ronaldo’s support for Binance encouraged more users to invest in the platform, including unregistered securities such as Binance’s BNB and crypto yield programs.
According to the plaintiffs, Ronaldo’s powerful promotion significantly increased Binance’s popularity, resulting in a 500% increase in searches for “Binance” following his NFT sale.
They claim that, given his investment experience, Ronaldo should have been aware of the legal issues surrounding Binance’s offerings.
Celebrities are required by SEC guidelines to report payments received for promoting cryptocurrencies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the lawsuit, Ronaldo failed to meet this requirement. The plaintiffs, Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdara, and Gordon Lewis, are seeking monetary damages as well as legal fee reimbursement.
This legal saga adds to Binance’s already-existing difficulties, with the company and its founder, Changpeng Zhao, facing money laundering charges.
Binance exchange recently agreed to pay a $4.3 billion fine, and Zhao resigned as CEO, risking up to 18 months in prison. Binance is now subject to five years of government compliance monitoring.
On another front, the SEC has filed a lawsuit against Binance, alleging unregistered securities sales and potential misuse of customer funds.
The ongoing legal battles highlight the increasing regulatory scrutiny that prominent figures and crypto platforms are facing.