Shaq Faces Legal Challenges Over Crypto Endorsements and NFT Project

by ChainChirp
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Shaquille O’Neal, the basketball legend turned TV analyst, is now embroiled in two separate lawsuits associated to the cryptocurrency sector. These authorized instances got here to gentle in a dramatic style on Tuesday, Could 23, throughout a reside NBA broadcast.

O’Neal, a ubiquitous presence within the broader digital belongings business, was handed authorized paperwork regarding his affiliation with the now-defunct cryptocurrency alternate FTX and his non-fungible token (NFT) initiative, Astrals, at Miami’s Kaseya Area. Notably, the venue was beforehand often known as FTX Area, named after the collapsed cryptocurrency alternate.

The 2 lawsuits

The primary lawsuit includes O’Neal and different celebrities, comparable to former NFL quarterback Tom Brady, who endorsed FTX. The plaintiffs on this case, represented by The Moskowitz Regulation Agency and Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, accuse the defendants of selling a monetary platform that later fell into chapter 11.

The second lawsuit focuses on O’Neal’s involvement in Astrals, an NFT undertaking launched in 2022. The plaintiffs assert that the Astrals NFTs had been unregistered securities, with the worth of the tokens tied intently to O’Neal’s celeb standing and promotional efforts. The swimsuit alleges that the undertaking misled buyers and that O’Neal, alongside along with his son Myles and enterprise associate Brian Bayati, violated securities legal guidelines.

Astrals NFTs
Credit score: Astrals

Astrals, constructed on the Solana blockchain, options 10,000 “metaverse-ready” avatars underpinned by a decentralized autonomous group (DAO) and a fascinating role-playing sport. The undertaking additionally marketed “Shaq Signature Passes,” a singular NFT tied to O’Neal’s digital signature.

Nonetheless, the lawsuit alleges that O’Neal ceased his engagement with the undertaking’s neighborhood after the collapse of FTX, a transfer that critics say devalued the undertaking and its tokens.

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The authorized actions towards O’Neal have been marred by alleged makes an attempt by the basketball star to keep away from service. In April, O’Neal’s attorneys contested that authorized paperwork pertaining to the FTX lawsuit had been improperly served, asserting that the papers had been hurled at O’Neal’s vehicle somewhat than handed to him immediately.

Nonetheless, lawyer Adam Moskowitz of The Moskowitz Regulation Agency argues that these claims are merely delay ways. In an interview with Front Office Sports, he revealed that O’Neal was served the authorized papers immediately through the NBA sport, thus placing an finish to this service-related rivalry.

As per the authorized course of, O’Neal has 20 days from the date of service to answer the lawsuits. Because the fits progress, it’s clear that O’Neal’s transition from the basketball court docket to the court docket of regulation can be scrutinized intently, and the outcomes may have vital implications for the intersection of celeb endorsements and the crypto business.

Editor’s word: This text was written by an nft now workers member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-4.

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