Cristiano Ronaldo sued for promoting Binance and unregistered securities
According to the filed lawsuit, Cristiano Ronaldo is accused of actively participating in the promotion, assistance, and sale of unregistered securities in collaboration with Binance.
Legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has found himself entangled in a legal battle as a lawsuit was filed against him in a Florida District Court. The plaintiffs, Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdara, and Gordon Lewis, allege that Ronaldo's promotion of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance led to their financial losses. This comes amid Binance facing scrutiny for inadequate anti-money laundering measures and being instructed to pay $4.3 billion in settlements to US authorities.
According to the filed lawsuit, Ronaldo is accused of actively participating in the promotion, assistance, and sale of unregistered securities in collaboration with Binance. The Al-Nassr star, who initiated a multi-year partnership with the exchange in mid-2022, was slated to endorse his own Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) as part of the agreement. The plaintiffs argue that users engaging with Ronaldo's NFT collection were more inclined to use Binance for other purposes, including the purchase of unregistered securities such as the BNB token and the exchange's yield programs.
The legal document asserts that Ronaldo's promotional activities effectively solicited or assisted Binance in soliciting investments in unregistered securities. By leveraging his massive following, which comprises millions of followers, fans, and supporters, the Portuguese legend allegedly encouraged individuals to invest in the Binance platform. The unregistered securities highlighted in the lawsuit specifically encompass the BNB token and Binance's yield programs.
The lawsuit contends that Ronaldo either knew or should have known about Binance's alleged sale of unregistered crypto securities. Emphasizing the former Manchester United star's investment experience and substantial resources, the document suggests that he had the means to seek external advice to understand the nature of Binance's activities. This raises questions about Ronaldo's accountability in promoting a platform accused of dealing in unregistered securities.
Furthermore, the lawsuit references the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) warning to celebrities regarding the disclosure of payments received for promoting cryptocurrencies. The plaintiffs claim that Ronaldo failed to disclose the payments he received from Binance, adding another layer to the legal dispute. This lack of transparency raises concerns about compliance with regulatory guidelines in the cryptocurrency promotion space.
Ronaldo's legal troubles coincide with the broader challenges faced by Binance. Recently, the platform's CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), pleaded guilty to money laundering charges and agreed to step down from his position as the company's head. The combination of legal woes and leadership changes underscores the tumultuous situation surrounding one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges.