Ronaldo Sued for Promoting Binance in Wake of Plea Deal

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Nov/29/2023

The largest global crypto exchange and its chief executive and co-founder, Changpeng Zhao, pleaded guilty last week to ignoring anti-money-laundering rules in the U.S.  That exchange must exit the U.S. market as a result.  And we are now learning that footballer Ronaldo is being sued for promoting the troubled exchange.

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The soccer star’s Binance-tied NFTs allegedly promoted investments in unregistered securities on the crypto exchange, according to the suit filed November 27.

“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 suit reads.

The company claimed that Ronaldo's tie-in with Binance resulted in a 500 percent increase in search activity for the exchange.

The class-action lawsuit plaintiffs are Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdara and Gordon Lewis, who seek damages and funds to cover legal fees.

The company's founder and former CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, plead guilty and paying a $4.3 billion settlement to the U.S. government for violations of Anti-Money Laundering laws as well as running the unregistered money-transmitting business.  He must be monitored by the U.S. Justice Department over the next five years.

These suspect transactions involved “ransomware, terrorist financing, high-risk jurisdictions, darknet markets and scams, and child sexual abuse material [CSAM].” FinCEN identified “well over a hundred thousand suspicious transactions that Binance failed to timely and accurately report.”

Steven Stradbrooke of CoinGeek warned that Tether might now be in the cross hairs of U.S. law enforcement.

The consent order notes that Binance has “five primary CVC trading pairs,” specifically, BTC, ETH, LTC, USDT, and Binance’s in-house BNB token. The monitor has been tasked with considering the risks of various Binance policies, including “the types of CVC products and services, including AECs [anonymity enhanced coins], that Binance offers its customers.”

USDT is the same as Tether.

Stradbrooke writes:

"Binance was among the biggest recipients of USDT, the market cap of which is now brushing close to a record $89 billion. That’s up by nearly $2 billion in just the past week. In fact, another billion was minted on Tron the day after CZ entered his plea. They might be crooks, but the Tether crew either (a) don’t lack for balls or (b) do lack for brains."

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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