Kevin Hart, Serena Williams and Snoop Dogg have been named in a proposed class action lawsuit that alleges that they—along with dozens of other celebrities—encouraged their followers to buy Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible tokens which turned out to be fraudulent.
The lawsuit says that the famous personalities promoted the NFTs to enhance their value. This eventually led buyers to acquire “losing investments at drastically inflated prices.” The suit was filed on December 8 in a federal district court located in Los Angeles.
The two plaintiffs who filed the complaint are seeking at least $5 million for themselves as well as other people who were affected. The document states that most of the celebrities involved were allegedly recruited by talent manager Guy Oseary.
Oseary apparently led a plan with Yuga Labs to pay them for their endorsements through a crypto firm called Moonpay. He allegedly fostered relationships with numerous celebrity promoters, which also included The Weeknd and Stephen Curry, through their early investments in Moonpay.
As the demand for Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs increased, the demand for Moonpay also increased. An excerpt from the lawsuit states:
“Oseary, the MoonPay Defendants, and the Promotor Defendants each shared the strong motive to use their influence to artificially create demand for the Yuga securities, which in turn would increase use of MoonPay’s crypto payment service to handle this new demand. At the same time, Oseary could also use MoonPay to obscure how he paid off his celebrity cohorts for their direct or off-label promotions of the Yuga Financial Products.”
In a statement, Yuga Labs denied any wrongdoing. “In our view, these claims are opportunistic and parasitic. We strongly believe that they are without merit, and look forward to proving as much,” it read. Though the floor price for a Bored Ape NFT hit a high of $430,000 in April, it is now worth closer to $86,000.