Shaquille O’Neal, the basketball legend, unexpectedly met legal action in the crypto and NFT space while broadcasting at an NBA game in Miami. The lawsuits are related to FTX and his NFT project. Here’s everything you need to know.
Shaq Served With FTX Lawsuit
Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal has met legal action within the crypto and NFT world. The situation arose while he was broadcasting an NBA game. To clarify, two separate lawsuits were served against Shaq, one related to the FTX bankruptcy and another about his NFT project, Astrals. The unexpected delivery of legal papers took place at the FTX Arena in Miami. Thus, adding a dramatic twist to an already interesting story.
The first lawsuit targets celebrities who endorsed the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Other defendants are notable figures like former NFL star Tom Brady and TV star Larry David. On the other hand, the second complaint focuses on Shaq and his NFT project, Astrals, which launched in March. The lawsuit claims that the NFTs offered by Astrals were unregistered securities, alleging that the former NBA player made promises associated with these digital assets.
Both lawsuits against Shaquille O’Neal are being led by The Moskowitz Law Firm and Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. Following accusations of evading service and obstructing court proceedings, attorney Adam Moskowitz stated that the legal actions can now proceed without further delay. He expressed relief that the focus can shift to the merits of the cases rather than the distractions caused by Shaq’s actions.
Last month, Moskowitz’s law firm claimed to have successfully served Shaq about the FTX lawsuit. However, Shaq’s legal team disputes this and argues that documents were thrown at his car instead of being personally delivered. The discussion surrounding the service of legal papers has only added to the uncertain nature of the lawsuits.
The Drama Continues
The complaint against Shaquille O’Neal for his involvement with Astrals spans 54 pages and includes six claims. The laws that are allegedly broken are the Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. The core argument of the complaint revolves around Astrals NFTs potentially being classified as unregistered securities under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Howey Test. The Howey Test is a framework used to determine securities status since 1946.
Further, the complaint argues that the value of Astrals holders is tied to Shaq’s celebrity status and promotional efforts. It presents evidence of Shaq’s involvement in the digital assets industry. This includes documenting his entry into the Web3 space and how Astrals allegedly misled investors.
The lawsuit claims that Astrals was Shaq’s brainchild. Additionally, the appointment of his son, Myles O’Neal, as the project’s head of investor relations suggests that the team viewed it as a marketing opportunity. The complaint scrutinizes the various ways Shaq promoted the project, including social media posts and appearances as DJ Diesel during musical performances. It also alleges that Shaq distanced himself from the project’s community following the collapse of FTX.
The lawsuit highlights January 2nd as the last instance of Shaq engaging with Astrals’ community. It cites a GIF he allegedly posted on the project’s Discord server from the film The Wolf of Wall Street. As we continue to ‘weather’ this bear market, more drama unfolds in the space, so grab your popcorn and enjoy.