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FTX Saga: Shaquille O’Neal And The Unraveling Of A Crypto Giant

By CultureBanx Team

  • Shaquille O’Neal could face substantial fines due to his involvement with FTX and the crypto platform’s fraudulent activities
  • FTX legal proceedings have implicated several celebrities who endorsed the platform including Shaquille O’Neal, Tom Brady, Steph Curry and Naomi Osaka

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s conviction on 13 counts of fraud and conspiracy, following the $32 billion collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange has significant implications for the involved celebrities and the future of cryptocurrency. The saga doesn’t end there as the legal proceedings have implicated several celebrities who endorsed FTX, including Shaquille O’Neal, Tom Brady, and Steph Curry. The involvement of these high-profile figures has added fuel to the fire, turning this financial fraud case into a spectacle watched by millions.

Why This Matters: O’Neal, a renowned NBA player and commentator, has found himself at the core of the controversy. He was among the celebrities accused of defrauding investors by acting as a spokesperson for FTX. What sets O’Neal apart from the other celebrities involved is his alleged attempts to dodge being served legal complaints related to his role in the FTX debacle.

After months of cat-and-mouse, lawyers for FTX investors finally served O’Neal with the legal complaints on Tuesday night, outside of the Miami venue formerly known as FTX Arena. The legal process was significantly delayed due to O’Neal’s evasive actions, referred to as a “silly service sideshow” by Adam Moskowitz, a lawyer representing FTX investors.

Prior to FTX’s failed business model came to light, its commercials featured Brady, the star quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, former basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, current NBA All-Star Stephen Curry, and tennis player Naomi Osaka. Current athletes Osaka, Curry, and Brady among others have been named in an $11 billion lawsuit following the bankruptcy filing from FTX. 

“Part of the scheme employed by the FTX Entities involved utilizing some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment—like these Defendants—to raise funds and drive American consumers to invest … pouring billions of dollars into the deceptive FTX platform to keep the whole scheme afloat,” the lawsuit said.

Class-action attorney Moskowitz pointed to previous cases where the U.S. government fined celebrities Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather for promoting crypto.

What’s Next: As part of the legal process, O’Neal has been served with two separate complaints. The first is related to his involvement with FTX and the platform’s fraudulent activities. The second lawsuit alleges that he sold unregistered securities as part of his non-fungible tokens (NFT) venture, Astrals Project. The implications for O’Neal are serious. If found guilty, he could face substantial fines and potentially even jail time. 

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