Jimmy Fallon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Justin Bieber have been sued in a proposed class action lawsuit accusing them and a host of other celebrities of promoting Bored Ape Yacht Club’s irreplaceable fraudulent token.
The lawsuit claims celebrities tricked their followers into buying BAYC NFTs, among other unregistered securities issued by Yuga Labs, to increase their value, prompting buyers to buy “investments” losses at high prices”.
“The truth is that the Company’s entire business model relies on the use of covert advertising and marketing from highly paid A-list celebrities (without disclosing it), to increase demand for Yuga securities by convincing potential retail investors that the price of these securities digital assets will appreciate,” reads the complaint filed Thursday in court. California federal court.
The lawsuit also names Madonna, Kevin Hart, Stephen Curry, Snoop Dogg, Serena Williams, Post Malone, The Weeknd, the production company of Fallons Electric Hot Dog, Inc. and Universal TV, among others. It claims that most of them were recruited by talent manager Guy Oseary, who spearheaded a scheme with Yuga Labs to discreetly pay them for their endorsement through publicity. Moonpay cryptocurrency company. According to the complaint, Oseary’s venture capital firm Sound Ventures was the original investor in Moonpay.
Oseary is said to have been linked to a number of celebrity promoters, including Bieber, Paltrow and Hart, through their early investments in Moonpay. By increasing demand for BAYC NFT and Yuga Labs’ Apecoin cryptocurrency token, the lawsuit alleges they also increased demand for Moonpay.
“Oseary, Defendant MoonPay, and Defendant Promotor all share a strong motive to use their influence to create artificial demand for Yuga securities, which in turn will increase usage of the electricity bill payment service. of MoonPay to handle this new demand,” the complaint reads. “At the same time, Oseary may also use MoonPay to conceal how he pays his celebrity pool for their direct or off-brand ads for Yuga Financial Products.”
In an episode of Tonight’s Program On November 11, 2021, Fallon promoted Moonpay and the BAYC NFT collection by announcing that he had received his first NFT through the cryptocurrency company, which advertised itself as a service. white gloves designed to help celebrities buy digital assets. He did not disclose that he has a financial stake in Moonpay.
Neither did Electric Hot Dog or Universal reveal that this purported organic segment on the Tonight Show was in fact a paid advertisement for the NFT and MoonPay BAYC collection of two celebrities (Fallon and Winkelmann), is a business partner with an investor (Oseary) in both Yuga and MoonPay,” attorney John Jasnoch wrote in the complaint.
The lawsuit, which names Oseary and Yuga Labs, said the promotion convinced investors to buy BAYC NFT.
According to the lawsuit, each advertising defendant received digital assets from Moonpay or Yuga Labs for their endorsement. Bieber, for example, received about $1.3 million worth of BAYC NFTs when it went live for an allegedly fraudulent Instagram post saying he bought it with his own money. Paltrow similarly announced to investors on January 26 that she had “joined” the BAYC community and thanked Moonpay for their services in facilitating purchases. She also did not disclose that she has a financial stake in the company.
BAYC NFT’s trading volume is down 93% from its launch peak. Similarly, the value of the ApeCoin token has dropped 90% from its all-time high.
A Yuga Labs spokesperson said in a statement: “In our view, these claims are opportunistic and parasitic. “We strongly believe that they are worth nothing and look forward to proving it.”
Fallon, Bieber, Paltrow, Universal and Moonpay did not respond to requests for comment.
Celebrities promoting crypto, including Kim Kardashian, Larry David, and Tom Brady, have been named in similar lawsuits alleging fraud against their endorsements. On Wednesday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against supporters of the EthereumMax cryptocurrency, accusing them of tricking their followers into buying EMAX tokens just to sell their shares after Its value is inflated. While he said the incident raised “legitimate concerns” about the ability of celebrities to convince unsuspecting followers to buy “snake oil with unprecedented ease and access.” , U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald found that there is an expectation for “investors to act rationally before making their decisions.” bet on the zeitgeist of the moment.