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Cristiano Ronaldo faces billion dollar fine in US

Cristiano Ronaldo faces billion dollar fine in US

Deception and seduction

Cristiano Ronaldo faces billion dollar fine in US

A class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States against Cristiano Ronaldo – related to his promotion for the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Finance.

imago sports photography service, imago/Apress

Did soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (38) score a great own goal?

An advertising deal with Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, cost the Portuguese international more than a billion dollars (about 910 million euros). Several plaintiffs in the United States are seeking this amount of compensation from CR7.

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Did Ronaldo seduce buyers?

A related class action lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Florida against the five-time World Cup winner. Allegation: Illegal and fraudulent activity. The plaintiffs allege that Ronaldo’s promotion of Binance led him to make loss-making investments.

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In particular, it concerns Ronaldo’s so-called non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – in German: “not bad tokens”. Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are created and stored using so-called blockchain technology, making them unique. So they are advertised as virtual assets that can be bought and sold – but only exist digitally.

Ronaldo NFTs are no longer worth anything

In November 2022, Binance announced its first batch of CR7 NFTs in collaboration with Ronaldo. According to his own statements, the star striker wanted to reward his fans “for all the years of support”. In a social media video, Ronaldo announced: “We are going to change the NFT game and take football to the next level.”

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The cheapest CR7 NFT was issued in November 2022 for $77 – a year later it was only worth about $1. The reason: After a brief uptick in the cryptocurrency crisis, trading in NFTs has now largely collapsed.

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Ronaldo is said to have tricked and cheated people

However, plaintiffs in the U.S. are worried about more than the loss of value of CR7 NFTs: Ronaldo’s ad for Binance “500 percent increase in searches” After a registered crypto exchange in the Cayman Islands. It tricked people into using Binance to invest in “unregistered securities” like Binance’s BNB cryptocurrency.

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The legal basis for class action litigation is the requirements of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Accordingly, as SEC Chairman Gary Gensler recently emphasized in another lawsuit, celebrities must disclose to the public “who is being paid and how much to promote investments in securities.”

The plaintiffs in Florida argue that Ronaldo did not legally disclose the amount of his Binance advertising fees.

Ronaldo and Binance want to continue working together

Just last week, Finance admitted to violating money-laundering laws and agreed to pay about $4.3 billion (€3.95 billion) in fines. Founder and boss Changpeng Zhao will personally pay an additional $50 million. He must relinquish all positions at Binance and will be placed under supervision for three years.

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Regardless, Ronaldo and Binance want to continue their collaboration. CR7’s latest social media post said they are “cooking something” together. (wwii)