In the U.S., the trouble for the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance does not stop. Only one week after the regulatory authority CFTC filed a fraud complaint against Binance, the Adam Moskowitz law firm filed a class action against the crypto exchange, its managers, and promotors.
A week after the U.S. regulator accused Binance of skirting trading rules, the crypto exchange faces a multibillion-dollar class action lawsuit in a Florida federal court. The lawsuit filed Friday accuses the company, some executives, and prominent influencers of trading unregistered securities and illegally promoting the tokens on social media.
The suit is being driven by law firms Moskowitz and Bois Schiller Flexner. In addition to Binance, they also seek $1 billion in damages from CEO Changpeng Zhao, basketball star Jimmy Butler, Youtuber Graham Stephan and Ben Armstrong (Bitboy Crypto). The lawyers told Fortune they plan to include other Binance influencers in the class action lawsuit.
Behind the lawsuit are three investors who allegedly lost money on cryptocurrencies Binance and the influencers promoted. However, the class action lawsuit aims to find even more people who made moolah trading on the crypto exchange. If that succeeds, the plaintiffs could “reach into the millions,” according to the lawsuit.
The two law firms have already filed several lawsuits for damages against crypto companies, including a class action against crypto exchange Voyager, which wants to take over Binance, and two class actions against FTX. In these cases, the lawyers also go against the companies and influencers who had promoted them.
Moskowitz is also suing, for example, U.S. football star Tom Brady, supermodel Gisele Bündchen and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. They had all promoted the crypto exchange FTX, allegedly making “distorting” advertising claims. In addition, the celebrities had violated Florida securities and consumer protection laws by failing to disclose in sufficient detail the compensation they received in return for their advertising.
Binance profited from the same advertising and sales of unregistered securities as FTX and Voyager and “even perfected the pyramid advertising influencer structure that reinforced those practices,” said attorney Adam Moskowitz, who is representing the case.
In addition to the company, the CFTC complaint is directed in parallel against CEO Changpeng Zhao and former compliance chief Samuel Lim. While they do not face criminal proceedings, the regulator can order the seizure of assets, impose hefty fines and impose a permanent trading and registration ban on the company.
Binance is currently under heavy scrutiny in the U.S.: In February, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) banned the U.S. subsidiary from issuing the Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin. In addition, Binance is suspected of being a key figure in the Bitzlato fraud, which is why the U.S. Attorney’s Office is investigating the crypto exchange. The Department of Justice is also said to have launched investigations against the crypto exchange for violations of anti-money laundering laws and possible tax crimes and is looking into charges.