In a surprising turn of events, former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal finds himself once again entangled in the ongoing legal battle with cryptocurrency exchange FTX. The latest development came as Shaq gets served with a lawsuit, reopening a chapter that seemed to have settled down. The lawsuit, which alleges the former basketball player’s involvement in misleading advertising practices, has garnered significant attention in both the sports and cryptocurrency communities.
The origins of this legal dispute can be traced back to O’Neal’s partnership with FTX. In early 2022, the retired athlete became a brand ambassador for the cryptocurrency exchange, using his massive social media presence and celebrity status to promote the platform. However, trouble arose when a group of investors claimed that O’Neal’s endorsements misled them into investing in cryptocurrencies they believed were endorsed by him.
Shaquille O’Neal served legal papers during NBA Playoff Game
During Game 4 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals, former NBA star Shaq got served with legal documents on Tuesday night at the Kaseya Center (formerly FTX Arena) in Miami, as confirmed by Adam Moskowitz, a lawyer representing the FTX investors, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Moskowitz, the lawyer representing the FTX investors, had previously mentioned to The Block that O’Neal was served in the case outside his Atlanta residence last month following a three-month pursuit. However, O’Neal disputed the claims in court, alleging that the process servers threw papers at his moving vehicle and failed to serve him officially.
Process server attends NBA game to serve legal papers to Shaquille O’Neal
According to Moskowitz, on this occasion, a process server went to the extent of purchasing a ticket to the Tuesday game between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. The server successfully delivered the legal papers to O’Neal, who was engaged in providing commentary on the game from a platform within the arena.
According to Moskowitz, the process server approached O’Neal while he was on the platform and successfully handed him the legal documents pertaining to the FTX case. Additionally, the same process server served O’Neal with another lawsuit concerning the Astrals Project, an NFT project involving 3-D avatars.
This new lawsuit, filed by Moskowitz on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Florida, accuses O’Neal of violating securities laws through the sale of unregistered securities. Subsequently, O’Neal had the process server ejected from the arena, as confirmed by Moskowitz.
Celebrity Lawsuits pile up in FTX bankruptcy case
O’Neal is one of over a dozen celebrities and sports teams facing lawsuits for their promotion of FTX, the crypto exchange that has since declared bankruptcy. O’Neal was once a strong supporter of FTX, to the extent that the company affectionately referred to him as “Shaqtoshi,” a play on the name Satoshi Nakamoto, the presumed author of the Bitcoin white paper.
Following the collapse of FTX, O’Neal has distanced himself from the company, emphasizing that he was merely a paid spokesperson for a commercial. “I was just fulfilling my role as a paid spokesperson,” O’Neal stated in response to FTX’s bankruptcy before he got served.
In federal court, three executives from the company pleaded guilty, while former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried entered a plea of not guilty to criminal fraud charges.
In the ongoing legal battle surrounding FTX, former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal finds himself back in the spotlight. After finally being served with a lawsuit alleging his involvement in misleading advertising practices, O’Neal now faces renewed scrutiny. The case raises important questions about the responsibilities of celebrities in endorsing financial products and the accountability of cryptocurrency exchanges.
As FTX continues its bankruptcy proceedings, the involvement of high-profile individuals like O’Neal highlights the need for stricter regulations in the cryptocurrency industry. The outcome of these legal proceedings will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications, shaping the future landscape of celebrity endorsements and transparency in the crypto world.