Three celebrity endorsers, including NFL quarterback Trevor Lawrence, have agreed to settle claims that they played a role in deceiving investors who suffered substantial losses during the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange. The settlements involving Lawrence, along with YouTube influencers Kevin Paffrath and Tom Nash, were revealed in a recent court filing, though specific terms were not disclosed. These developments come as FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is slated to face a criminal trial next month in Manhattan federal court on charges related to an alleged multibillion-dollar fraud leading up to the exchange’s November 2022 collapse.
FTX, once a prominent name in the cryptocurrency exchange space, faced a significant downturn last year when it went under, resulting in substantial losses for investors. The exchange’s collapse prompted legal actions from affected parties, including investors, who sought accountability for their losses.
Several celebrities had endorsed FTX, leveraging their influence to promote the exchange. These endorsements drew public attention and investor interest. However, as FTX’s troubles came to light, legal actions were initiated against these celebrity endorsers, alleging that their promotional efforts had contributed to misleading investors.
Other Celebrity Defendants:
Among the other celebrities named in lawsuits related to FTX’s collapse are Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Shaquille O’Neal, and Larry David. These high-profile individuals were also sued in class-action suits, which have been consolidated before a federal judge in Miami. The lawsuits accuse them of playing a role in promoting FTX and thereby luring investors into the cryptocurrency exchange.
Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms:
In addition to celebrity endorsements, venture capital and private equity firms that invested in FTX, including Sequoia Capital and Thoma Bravo, have faced separate complaints. These suits claim that these firms enabled and supported Sam Bankman-Fried in his actions leading up to the exchange’s collapse.
The settlements involving celebrity endorsers of the failed FTX cryptocurrency exchange signal an attempt to resolve claims brought by investors who suffered losses during the exchange’s collapse. While specific terms of these settlements were not disclosed, they are part of a broader legal landscape that includes criminal charges against FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, set to be tried next month. These legal proceedings underscore the complexities and challenges associated with accountability in the cryptocurrency industry and the various entities and individuals connected to it.