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Which celebrities endorsed FTX? Tom Brady, Stephen Curry, Trevor Lawrence...

A number of big stars are named in a lawsuit alleging that the cryptocurrency exchange was a “Ponzi scheme” designed to defraud users.

Tom Brady, Steph Curry and others face FTX lawsuit

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was arrested in the Bahamas on Monday evening after American officials shared a sealed indictment with local authorities.

The world’s youngest self-made billionaire had remained in the Bahamas after the collapse of FTX last month but he now appears on track to face extradition to the United States for trial.

The New York Times reports that the charges raised against Bankman-Fried include wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering. A US Attorney for the Southern District of New York advised the government of the Bahamas that they will likely request extradition.

The 30-year-old, often referred to as SBF, is also accused of “orchestrating a massive, years-long fraud” by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US. Prime Minister Philip Davis of the Bahamas said: “The Bahamas and the United States have a shared interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law.”

Which celebrities are named in FTX lawsuit?

While building his $32 billion fortune, SBF utilised lucrative celebrity endorsements to bring new users to the site. Cryptocurrencies enjoyed a huge surge in interest in 2020 and 2021 and FTX was one of the platforms to profit from the influx of new money.

Last month, after the situation became public, an FTX investor sued Bankman-Fried and several celebrity endorsers of his bankrupt crypto company. Lawyers Adam Moskowitz and David Boies filed the suit on behalf of Edwin Garrison.

“The deceptive FTX platform maintained by the FTX entities was truly a house of cards,” the proposed lawsuit states.

Amongst those named in the suit were NFL legend Tom Brady, his ex-wife and supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and NBA star Steph Curry.

The list of celebrity endorsers also includes David Ortiz and Shaquille O’Neal. The suit claims that these players engaged in deceptive practices to sell FTX yield-bearing digital currency accounts.

Celebrity endorsers were involved in a Super Bowl advertisement for FTX, as a way to utilize “some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment … pouring billions of dollars into the Deceptive FTX Platform to keep the whole scheme afloat,” the lawsuit states.

Other big names listed as defendants in the lawsuit include Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, tennis player Naomi Osaka and Miami Heat star Udonis Haslem.

The lawsuit concludes by claiming that FTX was “ultimately a Ponzi scheme, misleading customers and prospective customers with the false impression that any cryptocurrency assets held on the Deceptive FTX Platform were safe and were not being invested in unregistered securities”.