On Thursday, December 8, Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP filed a class action complaint on behalf of plaintiffs Adam Titcher and Adonis Real in the United States Central District Court of California, Western Division. The complaint is against the company Yuga Labs Inc., best known for its Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection. Other defendants, however, include a long list of celebrities believed responsible for unrealistically inflating the value of Yuga Labs’ intangibles.
A report from Deadline also pointed out that some of the defendants named in the class action include Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, Madonna, Jimmy Fallon, and Kevin Hart, among others.
Some of the specific charges include violations of unfair competition laws, aiding and abetting, and civil conspiracy, among others, but it’s pretty well summed up in a quote from a 2017 article by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that says, “Celebrities and others use social media networks to encourage the public to purchase stock and other investments.These recommendations may be illegal if they do not disclose the nature, source and amount of any compensation paid, directly or indirectly, by the Company in exchange for the endorsement.
MoonPay is advertised as an NFT exchange for celebrities and other investors, but, according to the complaint, was used as a way to compensate for celebrity endorsement of Yuga Labs NFTs, without disclosing this information to investors. The complaint further details that MoonPay was started by Guy Oseary, a connected Hollywood talent agent who conspired with Yuga Labs to supply this middleman.
The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial on these charges and are asking for damages and restitution for anyone who suffered financial losses from the purchase of Yuga’s NFTs or Yuga’s cryptocurrency, ApeCoin, starting April 23, 2021.