Legendary Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo is facing a lawsuit over his endorsement of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The claimants are seeking reparations of “a sum over” $1 billion, or £790 million.
According to the accusation, Ronaldo assisted Binance in the offer and sale of unregistered securities. In 2022, the football player and Binance partnered to promote the footballer’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs), linked to the exchange. It is alleged that those who enrolled for Ronaldo’s NFTs are more likely to use the exchange for other purposes, such as buying unregistered stocks.
The lawsuit claims that Binance’s sale of unregistered cryptocurrency assets should have been known to Ronaldo, given his wealth and competence in investing. The former CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, has admitted guilt in connection to the failure of the global cryptocurrency exchange to uphold an effective anti-money laundering program. Binance was accused of violating anti-money laundering and sanctions laws, neglecting to report suspicious transactions involving organizations designated as terrorist groups by the US, such as Hamas, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
As part of a plea agreement, Binance will pay more than $4.3 billion, and Zhao will pay a $150 million penalty to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Zhao could face a prison term of up to 18 months, and a US federal judge has mandated that he cannot leave the United States until his sentencing hearing in February.