Cristiano Ronaldo Faces Legal Battle Over Binance Promotion
Cristiano Ronaldo, a renowned soccer icon, recently encountered legal troubles following his promotion of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance. In November 2023, a class-action lawsuit emerged, alleging Ronaldo’s active role in marketing unregistered securities in collaboration with Binance.
In mid-2022, Ronaldo and Binance formed a partnership, launching a series of his nonfungible tokens (NFTs). This collaboration led users who purchased Ronaldo’s NFTs to engage more deeply with Binance, including investments in alleged unregistered securities like Binance’s BNB and various crypto yield programs.
The lawsuit emphasizes Ronaldo’s significant influence, citing his substantial social media following of 850 million. His involvement with Binance reportedly skyrocketed the exchange’s popularity, indicated by a 500% surge in Binance searches post the initial NFT sale.
Accusations in the suit suggest Ronaldo, with his extensive investment experience, should have been aware of Binance’s activities involving unregistered crypto securities. The lawsuit also points out the failure to disclose payment details for promoting cryptocurrencies, as advised by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Compounding the issue, Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao face separate legal challenges. These include a guilty plea in a $4.3 billion settlement with the U.S. government for Anti-Money Laundering law violations and operating an unregistered money-transmitting business. Zhao has resigned as CEO amid these developments. Furthermore, the SEC has accused Binance of selling unregistered securities and possibly misappropriating customer funds.
This lawsuit against Ronaldo, spearheaded by plaintiffs Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdara, and Gordon Lewis, seeks damages and legal fee coverage, reflecting the broader scrutiny and regulatory challenges facing the cryptocurrency industry.