Soccer Star Cristiano Ronaldo Faces $1B Class Action Suit Over Binance Endorsement

The suit alleges that Ronaldo "promoted, assisted in, and/or actively participated in the offer and sale of unregistered securities in coordination with Binance."

AccessTimeIconDec 1, 2023 at 6:44 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 26, 2024 at 3:25 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo faces a $1 billion class-action lawsuit linked to his commercial relationship with cryptocurrency exchange Binance.

The suit, dated Nov. 28 and filed in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in Miami, alleges that Ronaldo "promoted, assisted in, and/or actively participated in the offer and sale of unregistered securities in coordination with Binance."

The action purports to represent "consumers who purchased unregistered securities offered of sold by Binance." The lead plaintiff was identified as Michael Sizemore, a California resident who allegedly bought unregistered securities from Binance "after being exposed to some or all of defendant's misrepresentations and omissions regarding the Binance platforms."

"Mr. Ronaldo’s promotions solicited or assisted Binance in soliciting investments in unregistered securities by encouraging his millions of followers, fans, and supporters to invest with the Binance platform," the legal filing said.

The suit could add to a growing list of legal matters at Binance. In June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Binance, the operating company for Binance.US and founder Changpeng "CZ" Zhao on allegations of violating federal securities laws. Last week, in a separate case, Binance agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle charges brought by U.S. prosecutors related to alleged violations of breaking sanctions and money-transmitting laws.

Ronaldo partnered with Binance in 2022 in the creation of a non-fungible token (NFT) collection, featuring animated figures depicting moments from his career.

He is accused of "soliciting investments in unregistered securities by encouraging his millions of followers, fans, and supporters to invest with the Binance platform."

"Mr. Ronaldo’s promotions were published on public websites, television and social media accounts accessible to plaintiffs nationwide, including in Florida," the suit reads. "On information and belief, in exchange for his services, Mr. Ronaldo received a substantial total compensation package which likely included compensation in the form of digital assets transmitted through the Binance platforms."

The suit cited prior SEC warnings that virtual tokens may be securities, and that celebrities must disclose when they are getting paid to promote securities.

CoinDesk requested comment via a cristianoronaldo.com email address but did not immediately receive a response.

UPDATE (Dec. 1, 19:05 UTC): Adds that CoinDesk contacted Ronaldo's representatives for comment

Edited by Bradley Keoun.





Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.