A proposed class-action suit has been filed against the pro football player, Cristiano Ronaldo for promoting Binance which was charged for the sale of unregistered securities. The filing sent to a Florida district court stated that the star player “promoted, assisted in, and/or actively participated in the offer and sale of unregistered securities in coordination with Binance.”
Binance entered a partnership with Ronaldo in 2022 to launch exclusive NFT collections. About two months ago, Binance and C. Ronaldo launched a third NFT project, and the second went live in July.
According to the complaint, users who participated in the Ronaldo NFTs following the partnership between the player and Binance were more likely to invest in unregistered securities. Aside from signing up for the Ronaldo NFTs, the users could have engaged Binance for other purposes like interacting with the Binance BNB or participating in its crypto yield programs, the complaint claims.
For the complaint, his promotions would have encouraged his followers and supporters to invest with the Binance platform thereby interacting with unregistered securities. Even in a recent post on X, Ronaldo mentioned making plans with Binance.
The statistics by the complaint tell that Ronaldo has about 850 million followers on social media and search for Binance surged 500% the week after the initial NFT sale was “incredibly successful.” With this, the complaint concluded that Ronaldo was a significant part of Binance’s growing popularity. Ronaldo must have known that Binance was offering unregistered crypto securities, the complain said, adding that the player has “investment experience and vast resources to obtain outside advisers.”
Further, the filing stated that Ronaldo didn’t follow the SEC’s advice on disclosure of crypto payments received for promoting cryptocurrencies.
The SEC chair Gary Gensler in February said the law requires celebrities to publicly disclose promotion deals involving securities. He also advised investors to perform their due diligence before funding an endorsement made by celebrities. This was after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission announced a $1.4-million settlement with former NBA player Paul Pierce for allegedly promoting a token project on social media.
Prior to the filing on the star player, Binance and its former CEO Changpeng Zhao had been facing several charges by the US authorities. The SEC charged the former CEO and Binance for offering unregistered securities and violating money laundering rules. The CEO however stepped down and paid a fine of $4.3 billion. Barely a week later, C. Ronaldo was filed for being involved with Binance.
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