Cristiano Ronaldo sued for promoting Binance: Legal turbulence for the 38-year old superstar
Binance’s partnership with celebrities like Ronaldo was clearly designed to use the positive reputation associated with specific celebrities to convince consumers that Binance was a safe place to buy and sell cryptocurrency, said the filing
Cristiano Ronaldo is facing a class-action lawsuit. According to the reportsthe plaintiffs, Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdara, and Gordon Lewis and claimed that they suffered losses because Cristiano Ronaldo promoted the exchange.
The lawsuit filing stated,”Plaintiffs file this Complaint on behalf of themselves, and all other similarly situated consumers who purchased unregistered securities offered or sold by Binance, 1 against Defendant, Cristiano Ronaldo, who promoted, assisted in, and/or actively participated in the offer and sale of unregistered securities in coordination with Binance.
It further added,”Binance’s partnership with celebrities like Ronaldo was clearly designed to use the positive reputation associated with specific celebrities to convince consumers that Binance was a safe place to buy and sell cryptocurrency.”
In or around mid-2022, Cristiano Ronaldo entered into a multi-year partnership with Binance in which Ronaldo would provide Binance with spokesperson and marketing services.
Those services included posting on social media, promoting his Binance exclusive NFT collection (Ronaldo’s first ever NFT collection)24, and appearing in commercial advertising, among other activities.
Binance boss Changpeng Zhao has become the most powerful cryptocurrency figure to fall in a two-year period chaotic even by the standards of the notoriously volatile industry.
Cristiano Ronaldo is getting sued for promoting Binance; but what is the issue with the crypto company?
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed 13 chargesagainst Binance , the world’s largest crypto exchange, and its founder, Changpeng Zhao, alleging both coming led billions of dollars worth of user funds and sent them to a European company controlled by Zhao.
The U.S. regulator alleged on Monday that Zhao and his exchange worked to subvert “their own controls” to allow high-net-worth U.S. investors and customers to continue trading on Binance’s unregulated international exchange.
The complaint alleges that Binance created Binance.US as a shield for the main company and Zhao, to “reveal, retard, and resolve” law enforcement targets and insulate Binance.
Two successive Binance.US CEOs expressed deep concern over Zhao’s level of control, according to the SEC. Both testified before federal regulators: Neither were named, but its first and second chief executives were Catherine Coley and Brian Brooks.
“I’m not actually the one running this company, and the mission that I believe I signed up for isn’t the mission. And as soon as I realised that, I left,” a former Binance.US CEO identified as “BAM CEO B” testified to the SEC.
Between June 2018 and July 2021, Binance earned $11.6 billion in revenue, most of which came from transaction fees, the complaint said. Since its inception, the exchange has “at first overtly and later furtively” worked to entice U.S. customers, at the direction and control of its founder Zhao, the SEC alleged.
Binance knew that tens of thousands of customers were in the U.S. but chose not to act, the SEC alleged, despite federal law barring the unregistered offer and sale of securities. Binance’s ultimate compliance, in 2019, was largely a public show, the SEC complaint continues.
The SEC alleges Zhao ordered the creation of an evasion plan for high-net-worth customers, using a VPN service to hide their U.S. location and submitting compliance documents to obscure their country of origin.
“We do need to let users know that they can change their KYC on Binance.com and continue to use it. But the message, the message needs to be finessed very carefully because whatever we send will be public. We cannot be held accountable for it,” Zhao allegedly told his top team in 2019.
The SEC also alleged that Binance and Zhao used market-making companies that they controlled to inflate trading prices and profit off of their customers.
Most damaging to investors, they allegedly engaged in “wash trading,” trading with themselves to artificially prop up the price of crypto assets.
Sigma Chain collected $190 million for its beneficial owner Zhao, the SEC alleged. The “proprietary trading firm” then spent $11 million to purchase a “yacht,” the complaint said.
Zhao dismissed the charges on Twitter by writing “4,” a popular refrain in Binance’s community urging users to ignore fear, uncertainty and doubt.
In a blog post that followed, Binance wrote, “We are disappointed that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chose to file a complaint today against Binance seeking, among other remedies, purported emergency relief.” The company added that it has “actively cooperated with the SEC’s investigations” and “engaged in extensive good-faith discussions to reach a negotiated settlement to resolve their investigations.”
The defendants showed a “blatant disregard” for federal law, the SEC alleged. The complaint included a “high-level” breakdown of Binance’s ownership structure, with Zhao and his holding vehicles allegedly controlling 100% of Binance and Binance.US’ various entities.
Cristiano Ronaldo is not the first person to get sued pertaining to Binance; Here are the two important ‘Binance Men’ to fall foul of the law since the previous year
Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao the very own founder of the company. Born in China in 1977, Zhao moved with his family to Canada in the 1980s and later got a degree in computer science from McGill University, according to his profile in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
He founded Binance in 2017 in Shanghai, and led the company’s explosive growth into the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange.
An outspoken celebrity in the crypto world with 8.7 million followers on X, Zhao became the richest known figure in the nascent industry. His net worth peaked at around $65 billion in 2022, according to a Forbes index.
The USA accused Zhao and Binance of multiple violations, including knowingly allowing transactions to militant groups such as the Islamic State and in barred jurisdictions such as North Korea and Iran.
Sam Bankman-Fried the right hand of Zhao. If Changpeng was the richest; Sam was easily the most famous one. Born to Stanford University professors, Bankman-Fried graduated from MIT with a degree in physics. In 2019, he founded FTX, which skyrocketed to become the world’s second-largest crypto exchange.
Along the way, Bankman-Fried built up his image as the unofficial ambassador for the cryptocurrency industry, with high-profile appearances in the media and even the US Congress.
It all came crashing down when these moves were revealed in the media in November 2022. Within hours, rival CZ Zhao said Binance would sell all the FTX tokens it held. It sparked a stunning collapse of FTX and Bankman-Fried’s empire, his fame turning to notoriety.