A class-action lawsuit filed on Tuesday against collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX and its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried names a host of celebrities, including football legend Tom Brady, comedian Larry David and basketball stars Shaquille O’Neal and Steph Curry.
The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in South Florida by FTX investor Edwin Garrison on behalf of other cryptocurrency exchange investors whose owners are seeking bankruptcy and liquidating the company.
The lawsuit seeks to hold FTX, Bankman-Fried and celebrities who promoted the cryptocurrency exchange “liable for many billions of dollars in losses” that former investors lost after the market crashed this month due to compensatory losses.
“They are responsible for the false information and omissions of the defendants, made and transmitted throughout the country through television and the Internet,” the lawsuit says the celebrities named in the lawsuit.
The Hill has reached out to FTX for comment.
Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO of FTX and filed for bankruptcy last week after trading subsidiary Alameda Research lost billions of dollars in risky bets.
The shocking fall of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges has sparked outrage, including on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are expected to hold hearings on the matter next month.
As many as 1 million users who traded and bought assets on FTX could suffer losses.
The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in Miami, where FTX is headquartered, says US consumers have collectively lost more than $11 billion and alleges the company orchestrated a “fraudulent plan” to defraud customers.
The complaint alleges that FTX was built like a “house of cards” and operated by a “Ponzi scheme in which FTX organizations shuffled customer funds” and used them to secure investments.
Celebrities named in the lawsuit, including tennis star Naomi Osaka and retired baseball player David Ortiz, are accused of pushing consumers to invest in FTX and ultimately “injecting billions of dollars into the Deceptive FTX platform to support the entire scheme afloat.
FTX was founded in 2019 and has quickly become the leading crypto exchange with billions of dollars of crypto assets traded daily.
Bankman-Fried was once worth $26 billion and was a major political donor, but his net worth has reportedly plummeted since filing for bankruptcy. He apologized for the collapse of FTX.