A Florida District Court has filed a lawsuit against Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo for allegedly promoting Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, without proper disclosure or authorization.
The lawsuit, which was filed on November 27, 2023, claims that Ronaldo violated the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by endorsing Binance’s NFTs without registering as a broker-dealer or disclosing his compensation from the exchange.
According to the complaint, Ronaldo entered into a multi-year partnership with Binance in June 2023, under which he agreed to create and sell a series of NFT collections exclusively on Binance’s platform.
The complaint alleges that Ronaldo used his social media accounts, which have over 500 million followers, to promote Binance and its NFTs, without disclosing that he was paid by the exchange or that he was not licensed to offer securities in the U.S.
The complaint also accuses Ronaldo of making false and misleading statements about the value and legality of Binance’s NFTs, which are considered to be unregistered securities by U.S. regulators.
The lawsuit was filed by a group of investors who claim to have suffered losses as a result of Ronaldo’s promotion of Binance.
The trio named Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdara, and Gordon Lewis claim that Ronaldo’s promotion of the cryptocurrency exchange led to their financial losses and are seeking damages and injunctive relief from Ronaldo and Binance.
Other sources suggest that the lawsuit claims that Ronaldo violated SEC guidance by failing to disclose payments for promoting cryptocurrencies.
Previously, the SEC has warned celebrities that they must disclose payments received for promoting cryptocurrencies.
As of the time of writing, neither Ronaldo nor Binance have commented on the lawsuit publicly. In previous times, Binance has been facing increased scrutiny and legal action from various regulators around the world, including the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA).