FTX lawsuit targets Steph Curry, Warriors and other crypto ‘ambassadors’

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As cryptocurrency exchange firm FTX soared financially, one of its visible promoters was Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, who told viewers in a
video ad
that “I’m not an expert, and I don’t need to be. With FTX I have everything I need to buy, sell, and trade crypto safely.” The Warriors, meanwhile, displayed the FTX logo on the floor of their home court at Chase Center.

Then FTX imploded this month, losing billions of dollars and
filing for bankruptcy. And now an investor has filed a proposed class-action suit on behalf of “thousands, if not millions” of customers seeking damages from Curry, the Warriors and other FTX “ambassadors,” including basketball great Shaquille O’Neal, football star Tom Brady, baseball’s David Ortiz and Shohei Ohtani, and tennis’ Naomi Osaka, as well as the company’s founder.

The purpose of ads like Curry’s was “to facilitate the sales of (FTX accounts) to unsuspecting and unwitting retail consumers,” plaintiff Edwin Garrison said in a suit filed Tuesday in federal court in Miami. The suit said FTX has used “some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment — like these Defendants — to raise funds and drive American consumers to invest” in a “fraudulent scheme… designed to take advantage of unsophisticated investors from across the country.”

Garrison’s attorneys, including prominent litigator David Boies, did not specify an amount of damages in the suit. But they noted that the company had listed its assets at more than $30 billion before they “evaporated almost overnight.”

Warriors spokesperson Kimberly Veale said the team had no comment.

FTX was founded in 2019 as a cryptocurrency exchange, for investors to buy and sell crypto assets, by venture capitalist Sam Bankman-Fried, a Bay Area native and a defendant in Tuesday’s lawsuit. After published reports raised questions about its finances and transactions with a Bankman-Fried hedge fund, Alameda Research, investors withdrew their funds in a frenzy — more than $6 billion in one 72-hour period. Its bankruptcy filing listed net losses at $8 billion.

Bankman-Fried, whose personal $26 billion fortune has virtually evaporated, resigned as the company’s chief executive last week. The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating FTX. The New York Times
also reported
that federal prosecutors in New York were looking into Bankman-Fried’s management of the company.

UC Berkeley renamed its football stadium FTX Field last year as part of a 10-year, $17.5 million deal with the company, but after the bankruptcy filing the school
erased the FTX logo
from its 25-yard lines. And the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat said it has broken off a $135 million agreement with FTX that it reached last year and will choose a new name for its home court, which had been renamed FTX Arena.



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