Justin Bieber, Madonna, The Weeknd, Paris Hilton, and more face a class-action lawsuit over promoting NFTs.
The lawsuit alleges that these celebrities violated state and federal law by failing to disclose a prior relationship with Yuga Labs before promoting the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court’s Central District of California and names 37 co-defendants–many of them celebrities. The 100-page filing contains an elaborate alleged conspiracy engineered by these celebrities to boost the value of Bored Ape NFTs.
“The executives at Yuga and Oseary together devised a plan to leverage their vast network of A-list musicians, athletes, and celebrity clients and associates to misleadingly promote and sell the Yuga Financial Products,” the lawsuit alleges.
It alleges that talent manager Guy Oseary–representative for Madonna and Yuga Labs–used his network to publicly support Yuga Labs products in exchange for payments from Yuga Labs. The lawsuit alleges these secret payments were funneled to Oseary through MoonPay. The lawsuit claims that MoonPay was used as a front to secretly process payments from Yuga Labs to various celebrities.
“MoonPay puports to be a white-glove service designed to help the super-rich and celebrities buy NFTs ‘without all the hassle of setting up a wallet, buying crypto, using that crypto to purchase an NFT and then taking custody of it.’ In truth, the executive defendants and Oseary used their connections to MoonPay and its service as a covert way to compensate the Promoter Defendants for their promotions of the BAYC NFTs without disclosing it to unsuspecting investors,” the lawsuit continues.
When reached for comment, Yuga Labs vigorously denied the allegations. “In our view, these claims are opportunistic and parasitic,” a representative said in a comment to Decrypt about the lawsuit. “We strongly believe they are without merit, and look forward to proving as much.”