Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal was served a summons and complain in the class action filed against him and others in relation to the collapse of FTX at the formerly named FTX Arena on Tuesday (May 23) night, attorney Adam Moskowitz told ProFootballTalk.
O'Neal was at the now-Kaseya Center for TNT's coverage of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
“He was personally provided the papers, so he cannot raise his absurd delay tactics,” Moskowitz said. “We watched the prior Heat/Celtics game, so knew he would be in the outside broadcasting booth where fans were right next door.”
The Moskowitz Law Firm previously tweeted that O'Neal was served the class action suit outside his house on April 16, as well as a new lawsuit over the Astrals Project, an NFT/crypto offering.
“The allegations in the new crypto complaint are very serious and detail how him, his son and his business partner all founded this NFT Metaverse and he made promises every week that he would be extremely involved, so the value of the NFTs would grow greatly,” Moskowitz said via ProFootballTalk. “Once the FTX fraud was revealed, he ran away and has not been heard since.”
O'Neal was among several celebrities sued for endorsing FTX, along with the cryptocurrency company and its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
Other notable names included in the lawsuit are listed below:
- Tom Brady, seven-time Super Bowl champion
- Stephen Curry, four-time NBA champion
- Gisele Bündchen, supermodel and Brady's ex-wife
- Kevin O'Leary, businessman and Shark Tank personality
- Udonis Haslem, NBA player
- David Ortiz, Baseball Hall of Famer and FOX Sports analyst
- Golden State Warriors LLC
- Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback
- Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels pitcher, outfielder and designated hitter, reigning American League MVP
- Naomi Osaka, four-time tennis Grand Slam champion
- Larry David, co-creator and head writer of Seinfeld and creator and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants listed are "responsible for the many billions of dollars in damages they caused."
FTX announced it had begun the process of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following Bankman-Fried's decision to step down as CEO last year.
"The immediate relief of Chapter 11 is appropriate to provide the FTX Group the opportunity to assess its situation and develop a process to maximize recoveries for stakeholders," said John J. Ray III, who took over as CEO, according to the company's news release shared on November 11. "The FTX Group has valuable assets that can only be effectively administered in an organized joint process. I want to ensure every employee, customer, creditor, contract party, stockholder, investor, governmental authority and other stakeholder that we are going to conduct this effort with diligence, thoroughness and transparency. Stakeholders should understand that events have been fast-moving and the new team is engaged only recently. Stakeholders should review the materials filed on the docket of the proceedings over the coming days for more information."
The filing marked a staggering shift for the company, which was previously reported to be valued at $32 billion and deemed as the face of the crypto industry due to its marketing and advertising campaign, as well as long-term partnerships with the aforementioned names included in the lawsuit.
FTX was in discussions with investors for up to $1 billion in funding at a valuation of an estimated $32 billion in September, but has since significantly dropped and is reported to have been taken over by Binance "for pennies on the dollar," CoinDesk.com reported earlier this week.
Several media outlets had reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department have already launched investigations into FTX at the time of the bankruptcy report.