Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal and professional tennis player Naomi Osaka may avoid being held accountable in the collective lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange FTX due to a lack of notification.
As per the order issued on March 9, US District Judge Kevin Moore stated that it is unclear if O’Neal and Osaka were notified of the lawsuit. Therefore, the judge has requested that the plaintiffs explain why the sports stars should not be dismissed from the lawsuit.
What Are Shaquille O’Neal and Naomi Osaka Accused Of?
Shaquille O’Neal and Naomi Osaka, along with other sports stars and TV actors, could be accused of promoting a “fraudulent scheme” through the cryptocurrency exchange FTX to take advantage of retail investors with little knowledge about the cryptocurrency world.
Among other celebrities accused of fraud is NFL superstar and seven-time championship ring winner Tom Brady, who acquired a significant stake in FTX and became a company’s partner through a media agreement where he and his wife provided support to promote the platform, Bloomberg reported.
Brady received 1.1 million FTX shares, with a market value of approximately $45 million. At the same time, his wife received around $25 million in shares.
Both investments became almost worthless overnight with the collapse of Sam Bankman-fried’s empire, who is under house arrest pending trial for multiple financial fraud charges related to the bankruptcy of FTX and its subsidiaries —including the trading firm Alameda Research.
Unlike Brady, a well-known cryptocurrency enthusiast and promoter, Shaquille O’Neal stated that he was simply a paid spokesperson and did not share the same passion for cryptocurrencies as other stars. He even went so far as to say in 2021 that crypto seemed “too good to be true.”
That may be one of the reasons why the judge has not been as aggressive against Shaq.
The Lawsuit Against FTX Promoters Will Proceed as Scheduled
Judge Kevin Moore indicated that the lawsuit will proceed as scheduled since the defendants (Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Kevin O’Leary, and Trevor Lawrence, among others) are not the ones who should request a conference postponement. The plaintiffs, who have not yet done so, are the ones responsible for making that request.
On March 8, the judge denied the request to consolidate other lawsuits against FTX, arguing that the defendants have not yet appeared to answer for their crimes.
As reported by CryptoPotato, Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers may be planning to request a trial date change due to the lack of evidence of his involvement in FTX’s million-dollar scam and the accumulation of four new charges of fraud and money laundering (in addition to the eight he already had).
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