A class action lawsuit filed Thursday alleges that a group of celebrities — including Justin Bieber, Madonna, Steve Curry and Paris Hilton — violated state and federal laws when they promoted Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs while failing to disclose their financial ties to Yuga Labs.
The suit, which was filed yesterday in US District Court for the Central District of California, has at least 37 defendants — ranging from yoga leaders to celebrities and CEOs. It also names MoonPay, the crypto-payments company that allegedly facilitated these authentications.
Although the lawsuit lists 10 allegations, ranging from violations of California consumer protection laws to violations of federal securities laws, Save at 100 pages Tell more or less one story.
It details an alleged alleged plot, engineered by Hollywood’s elite, to boost the value of Bored Apes through an array of celebrity endorsements – all while secretly enriching everyone involved via a secret payment scheme laundered through a prominent crypto company.
The lawsuit alleges that talent manager Guy Oseary — a longtime Madonna actor, as well as Yoga — ordered his extensive network of celebrities to publicly endorse Yoga products, including Bored Ape NFTs, in exchange for payments from Yuga that were secretly routed through MoonPay. Oseary, also known as the co-defendant in the lawsuit, was an early investor in MoonPay.
MoonPay, now valued at $3.4 billion, counts several celebrity defendants in the lawsuit among its investors, including Bieber, Curry, Hilton, Kevin Hart, Jimmy Fallon, and Gwyneth Paltrow. The company rose to prominence in 2021 by offering a white glove service that facilitated the purchase of high value NFTs for celebrity clients.
The lawsuit filed Thursday alleges that MoonPay was instead a “front operation,” secretly sending payments from Yuga Labs — the $4 billion company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club — to celebrities who continued to tout NFTs without disclosure. their wealth, at Oseary’s direction.
For its part, Yuga Labs has strongly denied the allegations.
“In our view, these allegations are opportunistic and parasitic,” a company spokesperson said. Decrypt. “We are convinced they are unworthy and look forward to proving that.”
The lawsuit comes courtesy of law firm Scott + Scott, which announced in July Another teamwork against yoga. That lawsuit alleged that the company violated securities laws in its sale and marketing of Bored Ape NFTs and ApeCoinThe Ethereum-based token for the bored monkey ecosystem.
The law firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
To succeed in the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove that the yoga cadre of celebrity enhancers engaged in unfair or deceptive practices in endorsing the company’s products. It is almost certain to receive confidential payments through a detailed coverage process of this standard; However, whether such a system can be demonstrated is another question.
Similar to the company’s previous lawsuit, the complaint also alleges that Bored Ape NFTs are unregistered securities. If proven, this allegation would raise the bar for disclosure.
While US courts have yet to rule that so-called “blue” profile picture (PFP) NFT groups like Bored Ape Yacht Club constitute securities, October report He revealed that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating Yuga Labs for possible securities violations.
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