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What just happened? Shaquille O'Neal has been served papers over his involvement with now-collapsed crypto exchange FTX following a three-month chase. Shaq was one of several celebrities who promoted FTX and were named in a lawsuit against the platform's former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.
Back in November, a class action lawsuit was launched by investor Edwin Garrison against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, claiming he misled customers and cost investors billions of dollars in damages.
The suit named several celebrities and athletes who promoted FTX as co-defendants, alleging that they engaged in false advertising for what the suit calls a "Ponzi scheme." The list included O'Neal, Larry David (who famously appeared in a Super Bowl ad for FTX), Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, supermodel Gisele Bündchen (Brady's ex-wife), Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, baseball players Shohei Ohtani and David Ortiz, businessman Kevin O'Leary.
But it appears that O'Neal managed to avoid being served for three months. The Moskowitz Law Firm, representing investors in the suit, tweeted: "Plaintiffs in the billion $ FTX class action case just served @SHAQ outside his house."
"His home video cameras recorded our service and we made it very clear that he is not to destroy or erase any of these security tapes, because they must be preserved for our lawsuit."
UPDATE: Plaintiffs in the billion $ FTX class action case just served @SHAQ outside his house. His home video cameras recorded our service and we made it very clear that he is not to destroy or erase any of these security tapes, because they must be preserved for our lawsuit.– The Moskowitz Law Firm (@moskowitzesq) April 17, 2023
Adam Moskowitz, co-counsel on the FTX lawsuits, told Coindesk that Shaq was finally served the papers outside his Atlanta home after "hiding and driving away from our process servers for the past three months."
In his commercial for FTX, O'Neal, who previously admitted to not understanding crypto, said he was "all in" on digital currencies, asking, "are you?" Following FTX's collapse, O'Neal said he was "just a paid spokesperson."
"Mr. O'Neal will now be required to appear in federal court and explain to his millions of followers his "FTX: I Am All In" false advertising campaign, created by FTX advertising agency "Dentsu McGarrybowen" and FTX Global Partnership Agency "Wasserman," Moskowitz added.
O'Neal has now become the last of the celebrities named in the class-action suit to be served.
FTX collapsed last year after traders withdrew $6 billion from the platform in three days following news of an FTC investigation into the mishandling of withdrawal requests and Binance backing out of a merger deal. The company filed for bankruptcy on November 11. Bankman-Fried and several other executives were arrested. The former boss, who pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of fraud and conspiracy, is currently under house arrest.