Scott + Scott law firm filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Yuga Labs. The suit alleges that a part of celebrities, including Steph Curry, Madonna, and Justin Bieber, violated State and federal laws as they promoted Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Club Non-Fungible Tokens(NFTs) while failing to disclose their financial relationship with the company.
The suit outlines an elaborate alleged conspiracy, spearheaded by Hollywood’s elite, to push up the value of the Bored Apes with a series of celeb promotions while secretly enriching all parties involved through a covert payment scheme laundered via a famous crypto company, MoonPay.
Suit Accuses MoonPay of Facilitating Illegal Payments
Additionally, the suit alleges that talent manager Guy Oseary convinced his extensive celebrity network to publicly promote Bored Ape NFTs in exchange for payments from Yuga Labs secretly wired through MoonPay. Oseary is a co-defendant in the lawsuit and was an early investor in MoonPay.
MoonPay is today valued at over $3 billion. Many of the celebrities named in the lawsuit are its investors. The company gained popularity in the crypto space in 2021 by providing a “white-glove service” that facilitated purchasing high-value NFTs for celebrity clients.
However, the lawsuit accused MoonPay of secretly processing payments from Yuga Labs at Oseary’s direction to celebrities who promoted the Bored Ape NFTs without disclosing their enrichment. Yuga Labs has come out to deny the allegations through its spokesperson, who says that the claims are without merits and that the firm will prove as much.
Law Firm Behind Yuga Labs Lawsuit Faces an Uphill in Finding Proof to Support the Suit
For the Scott + Scott law firm to succeed in the suit, the plaintiff’s lawyers must prove that the celebrities involved engaged in a deceptive practice when they promoted the Bored Ape NFTs. Receiving secret payouts through a cover-up operation would likely fulfill that standard, but whether the scheme can be proven is another issue.
Previously, Scott + Scott had filed a lawsuit claiming that Yuga Labs violated securities laws while selling and promoting its NFTs. While the United States courts have not yet ruled that blue chip NFTs like Bored Apes are to be considered securities, a report released in October indicates that Yuga Labs is under investigation over possible securities violations.
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