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Is Shaquille O’Neal dodging lawyers of FTX investors and if so why?

Generally considered a nice guy, former NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal has come in for criticism recently following reports that he’s been dodging lawyers.

Generally considered a nice guy, former NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal has come in for criticism recently following reports that he’s been dodging lawyers.
Christian PetersenAFP

These days the one-time Lakers star is hard to miss in that he appears in several advertisements, is part of numerous panels as an analyst of the game and has even participated in game shows, however, it appears that the law has a slightly more difficult time finding the big man.

Shaquille O’Neal reportedly avoiding lawyers

According to recent reports, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has been dodging lawyers who represent FTX investors over the last few months. Indeed, Adam Moskowitz - one of the aforementioned attorneys - expressed his disbelief in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. “In 30 years, I’ve never had to deal with this situation,” Moskowitz said, before making clear that “We are not going away.”

To be clear, O’Neal is not alone in the case, with a number of celebrities and professional athletes having been named in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by FTX investors after the cryptocurrency company filed for bankruptcy late last year. Among those alongside O’Neal are high-profile individuals such as Tom Brady and his ex-wife Gisele Bündchen, comedian Larry David, tennis star Naomi Osaka and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, all of whom appeared in commercials where they promoted the company. Of course, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in January of this year and charged with a wide variety of offenses including wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.

What’s the situation with Shaquille O’Neal

As things stand, O’Neal to this point has avoided being ‘served’ the formal documentation required to officially start the lawsuit being brought to the table. It is understood, that legal representatives for plaintiffs have been unable to make contact with O’Neal at both his private residence and TNT’s studio, though they have tried to do so on multiple occasions. Indeed, reports state that they even “tossed the legal papers at his fast-breaking SUV.” For his part, the former MVP has claimed that he only “drove past the strangers lurking outside his home,” while insisting that he’s done nothing wrong.

Yet, that seems to be in contrast with what attorneys have stated, which is that they have not only tried to serve him papers at the numerous homes which he owns, but they’ve also attempted to make contact with him at his former wife’s residence as well. Further to that, lawyers are understood to have requested that they be allowed to serve O’Neal via direct messages on social media, however, the presiding judge denied the request.

Shaquille O’Neal’s representatives push back

As you can probably imagine, it wasn’t long before O’Neal’s own legal team refuted the allegations against him. So much so in fact, that they requested that the case be dismissed. As of Monday, that request was denied. “Mr. O’Neal has not evaded service by failing to be at the residences where Plaintiffs belatedly attempted service or by driving past strangers who approached his car,” the lawyers wrote. “The Court should quash service and dismiss the claims against him.” What happens next is anybody’s guess, but what we do know is that O’Neal is part of TNT’s panel which is covering the Eastern Conference finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. Given that we all know where he’s going to be in the coming days, one has to wonder how much longer he can continue to avoid those who are looking for him.


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