Footballer Ronaldo faces $1bn+ class action lawsuit for promoting Binance to unwary customers, and he’s still doing it

One of the world’s great footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo, has been named in a US class action lawsuit for his endorsement of crypto exchange Binance. Owing to the company’s CEO stepping down and then pleading guilty to money laundering charges in the US – plus a whopping $4.3 billion fine – it’s perhaps little wonder that plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that Ronaldo’s promotion of Binance led them, financially shaken, to make the decision to hurriedly invest into cryptocurrency and, ultimately, to a place of loss.

The footballer’s big move into endorsing ‘CR7’ NFTs were made as early as December 2022, bolstered by Ronaldo’s comments which spoke of offering users “an iconic piece of sports history”, a chance to “change the NFT game” – although it didn’t make enough of an impact to save the opening sale from tanking shortly afterwards. The Florida-based lawyers argue that under the hood of this opportunity and brightness, the addition of the footballer’s large public profile and recognition does unfortunately decipher as an offence – “Evidence now reveals that Binance’s fraud was only able to reach such heights through the offer and sale of unregistered securities, with the willing help and assistance of some of the wealthiest, powerful and recognised organisations and celebrities across the globe—just like defendant Ronaldo“, says the court filing – lifting the lid on a thirty- or forty-billion-dollar (billion) sum sought as compensation.

Capitalizing for a short time on Ronaldo-associated CR7 marque, Binance seems to have immediately removed the collection page. That may come as little surprise, given that the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) classes cryptocurrencies as securities – often one of the Beaverian issues with celebrity endorsements – i.e. those named should by law be upfront about their interactions with a given corporation.

Starting a stampede of legal action, the global sports star isn’t alone in this legal quandary, of course. Larry David, Tom Brady, Major League Baseball, Formula 1, and Mercedes-Benz have all appeared in class-action lawsuits with regard to their crypto & NFT endorsements pre-collapse of the FTX. Even now, Ronaldo looks to be this side of cozy to Binance, as he recently detailed on social media that him and his partner, plus “all of us”, were “cooking something up”. That “something” is surely a topic that Ronaldo might address on the heel side of his legal stand.

Robert Wilson author
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