On November 27, 2023, global football icon Cristiano Ronaldo found himself entangled in a legal dispute as a lawsuit was filed against him in a Florida District Court for his association with Binance.
The plaintiffs, Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdara, and Gordon Lewis, allege financial losses directly linked to Ronaldo’s promotion of the cryptocurrency exchange. Binance, currently under scrutiny for insufficient anti-money laundering measures, had recently been slapped with a $4.3 billion settlement demand by U.S. authorities.
Ronaldo’s involvement is detailed in the lawsuit, accusing him of actively participating in the promotion and sale of unregistered securities in collaboration with Binance. The renowned footballer had entered into a multi-year partnership with the exchange in mid-2022, agreeing to endorse his own series of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
The lawsuit contends that users who enrolled in the NFT collection were subsequently inclined to use the platform for other purposes, including the acquisition of unregistered securities like the BNB token and the exchange’s yield programs.
Additional Allegations Against Cristiano Ronaldo in Binance Lawsuit
The legal filing asserts that Ronaldo’s promotions played a pivotal role in soliciting investments in these unregistered securities, leveraging his massive following to encourage fans and supporters to invest in Binance. Notably, the lawsuit claims that Ronaldo either knew or should have known about Binance’s alleged sale of unregistered crypto securities and asserts that he possessed the financial acumen and resources to seek external advice.
Adding another layer to the lawsuit, it cites the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) warning to celebrities regarding the disclosure of payments received for endorsing cryptocurrencies. The plaintiffs contend that Ronaldo failed to disclose payments received from Binance in violation of this warning.
This legal development involving Ronaldo is the latest chapter in the ongoing Binance saga. The platform’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), recently admitted guilt to money-laundering charges and announced his decision to step down from his position as the company’s head.