Shaquille O'Neal Faces Legal Troubles Over FTX and Astrals NFT Endorsements
Former NBA Star Served Lawsuits Alleging Unlawful Promotion and Securities Offering
Thu, 25 May 2023, 14:12 pm UTC
Shaquille O'Neal, the renowned former basketball star, has once again found himself in legal trouble as he faces attempts to serve him with legal documents related to a class-action lawsuit tied to his alleged promotion of FTX. Additionally, a new accusation has emerged, claiming that he endorsed and established a nonfungible token (NFT) initiative on Solana called "Astrals," which some are considering an unlawful "securities" offering.
According to The Wall Street Journal, legal servers were finally able to locate and serve O'Neal during a basketball game at the former FTX Arena, now known as the Kaseya Center, where he was serving as a commentator on May 23.
Adam Moskowitz, O'Neal's legal representative, confirmed that O'Neal was presented with the paperwork for the FTX class-action lawsuit and a separate class-action lawsuit regarding his alleged promotional activities surrounding the NFT venture, "Astrals."
In court, the four-time NBA champion defended himself, claiming that the papers for the FTX lawsuit were carelessly thrown in front of his moving car, which he subsequently ignored. His legal team argued that this method of service was insufficient. According to federal regulations, a lawsuit is considered effectively served only if it adheres to the state law rules for delivering a summons. O'Neal's legal team claimed that the previous lawsuit served was based in Georgia and was not carried out by a legitimate individual.
In this recent incident, Moskowitz stated that the legal server purchased tickets to the May 23 basketball game where O'Neal was broadcasting and managed to hand over the complaint while O'Neal was occupied. Moskowitz further alleged that O'Neal later expelled the server from the venue.
The FTX class-action lawsuit alleges that athletes and other celebrities, including O'Neal, endorsed the now insolvent exchange. Other individuals mentioned in the lawsuit include fellow NBA champion for the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry, and retired NFL Quarterback for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady.
The claimants argue that the NFTs were considered an "investment contract" under the Howey Test and that purchasers were part of a "common enterprise" expecting a return on investment. O'Neal is the only defendant named in the complaint. The lawsuit also questions O'Neal's ongoing involvement in the Astrals Project, claiming that he hasn't interacted on the Discord server since the beginning of this year.
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