- Cristiano Ronaldo is sued for promoting Binance, allegedly aiding in selling unregistered securities.
- The lawsuit underscores Ronaldo’s influence on Binance’s popularity and questions his compliance with SEC guidelines.
- Binance faces its own legal challenges, including a $4.3 billion settlement with the US government and ongoing SEC investigations.
The well-known professional soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo has been embroiled in a legal battle following a class-action lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed on November 27th, accuses Ronaldo of contributing to the promotion and sale of unregistered securities in collaboration with the crypto exchange Binance.
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The filing submitted in a United States district court in Florida alleges that Ronaldo played a significant role in promoting Binance. The partnership, formed in mid-2022, involved Ronaldo promoting a series of his non-fungible tokens (NFTs) linked to Binance.
The plaintiffs claim that Ronaldo's promotions led users to not only buy his NFTs but also to use Binance for other transactions, including what they allege to be unregistered securities. This includes investments in Binance's native cryptocurrency, BNB (BNB), and crypto yield programs.
According to the lawsuit, the week following the initial sale of Ronaldo's NFTs saw a 500% surge in searches for Binance, underlining the promotion's success.
The lawsuit further alleges that Ronaldo, given his investment experience and access to resources, should have been aware of Binance's activities involving unregistered crypto securities. It also points to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidelines that emphasize the need for celebrities to disclose payments for promoting cryptocurrencies, which the plaintiffs argue Ronaldo failed to do.
Meanwhile, Binance and its founder, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, grapple with their own legal issues. They have recently pleaded guilty and settled for $4.3 billion with the US DOJ over violations of Anti-Money Laundering laws and operating an unregistered money-transmitting business.
Following these developments, Zhao resigned as CEO and could face up to 18 months in prison. Furthermore, earlier this year, the SEC sued Binance on several charges, including the sale of unregistered securities, and is reportedly investigating potential misappropriation of customer funds.
Cristiano Ronaldo's involvement in promoting Binance has led to a complex legal situation. As the lawsuit unfolds, it highlights the growing scrutiny and regulatory challenges facing the cryptocurrency industry, especially concerning celebrity endorsements and the sale of unregistered securities.