Justin Bieber, Steph Curry, Snoop Dogg and More Named in Class Action Lawsuit Over Bored Ape NFT Endorsements
Taking aim at many celebrities for defrauding potential investors.
The recent collapse of the NFT and cryptocurrency market has seen many seasoned and amateur investors lose out on ample funds. In the beginning of the year, the crypto market appeared to be on an upward trajectory, with the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT hype in full swing. As it hit its peak, celebrities and fans alike quickly hopped on the train to become early adopters, hoping to secure rare NFTs fro themselves. Driving prices up, the BAYC NFTs became one of the most sought-after digital pieces in the market at the time.
However, as the crypto market goes bearish and the buzz around NFTs has diminished, the exclusive Bored Ape club has felt the aftermath of the decline. Decrypt has reported that just last week, a class action lawsuit was filed against celebrities alleging that they used their popularity to defraud investors. The lawsuit alleges that celebrities including Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Steph Curry, Kevin Hart, Madonna, Serena Williams, Post Malone, The Weeknd, Gywneth Paltrow, Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton, have all been named in the lawsuit, seeking damages of upwards of $5 million USD on behalf of the plaintiffs and the putative class of “all others similarly situated.”
In total, 37 co-defendants were named, also including Yuga Labs leadership and BAYC’s celebrity endorsers. The lawsuit has also named executives like Amy Wu who previously served as a consultant and board member of the ApeDAO. In a statement to Variety, a Yuga Labs spokesperson said, “In our view, these claims are opportunistic and parasitic. We strongly believe that they are without merit, and look forward to proving as much.” The lawsuit also names MoonPay, claiming that the crypto payment startup allegedly facilitated the endorsements.
The lawsuit has detailed an elaborate scheme by BAYC, alleging conspiracies that were engineered by some of Hollywood’s elite to boost the value of BAYC NFTs with celebrity endorsements. It also claims that the elite group was secretly involved in a covert payment scheme that was laundered through the crypto company. The suit also pinpoints Guy Oseary, Madonna’s longtime representative and Yuga Lab for his extensive celebrity network. The heavy push from celebrities, athletes and entertainers are said to have caused the value of the BAYC NFT to balloon to “artificially inflated and distorted prices.” The celebrities are said to have engaged in misleading promotions, driving the scheme forward.
This is not the first class-action lawsuit in crypto. Earlier this year, Curry, Tom Brady, Shaq and more were sued for defrauding investors with their FTX endorsement.
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