Shaquille O’Neal hit with FTX and Astral NFT suits during NBA game
Ex-basketball star Shaquille O’Neal has had yet another run in with process servers, who have been trying for months to hand him a class-action lawsuit over his alleged promotion of FTX.
This time however, a new lawsuit has been added to the mix, one which also alleges he founded and promoted a Solana-based nonfungible token project called Astrals, which the lawsuit claims were “unregistered securities.”
On May 23, process servers were reportedly able to reach O’Neal at the ex-FTX Arena — now renamed as the Kaseya Center — during a playoff basketball game that he was commentating on, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Adam Moskowitz, the lawyer who filed both lawsuits, said O’Neal was served with both the FTX class-action lawsuit along with a new separate class-action suit regarding his alleged promotion of the Astrals project.
+ + + =
Big Game Weekend at Shaq’s Fun House! pic.twitter.com/Olfqk8lzLX
— FTX (@FTX_Official) February 12, 2022
Previously, O’Neal claimed in court that process servers for the FTX suit “tossed” the papers in front of his moving car, and he left them on the road. His lawyers argued such service of the suit was “inadequate.”
According to federal rules, a lawsuit is only deemed served through “following state law for serving a summons.” The suit previously served to O’Neal was in the state of Georgia and wasn’t “made by an authorized person,” his lawyers argued.
For the recent suit service, Moskowitz claimed the process server purchased tickets to the May 23 Eastern Conference finals game at the arena, where O’Neal was commentating from a platform.
While O’Neal was on the platform, the server was reportedly able to deliver the complaint. Moskowitz claimed that O’Neal later had the server ejected from the arena.
The FTX suit focuses on celebrities alleged to have endorsed the now-bankrupt exchange. O’Neal is named alongside basketball player Steph Curry, retired NFL player Tom Brady, comedian Larry David and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
Related: Celebs who got burned endorsing crypto and those that got away with it
O’Neal and Curry were seemingly able to joke about the class-action lawsuit on TV. Before the game, Curry was presented with an award, and O’Neal spoke to the basketball star.
“Thanks for getting me in trouble,” O’Neal jokingly said to a laughing Curry. “Don’t say nothing, be quiet,” he added before a co-host quickly moved in to change the subject.
Shaq slings securities? Suit says so
Meanwhile, the second class-action lawsuit served to O’Neal surrounds his alleged founding and promotion of the Solana-based Astrals NFT project, which the complaint claims wasan “offer and sale of unregistered securities.”
I bestow on my @Astrals_NFT family untold strength in the @riftersio world. Power for all, taken from none… This demi-god’s will be done. pic.twitter.com/IItGwn8T91
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) October 6, 2022
The suit claims the NFTs were an “investment contract” under the Howey test, with the lawyers claiming those who purchased were “in a common enterprise” and had an “expectation of profit.”
O’Neal was the only defendant named on the complaint. The plaintiffs allege they “invested” in Astrals and “suffered investment losses” due to O’Neal’s “conduct.”
The suit also questioned “whether he is still involved in the Astrals Project at all,” claiming O’Neal hasn’t posted in the project’s Discord since January.
The plaintiffs are seeking various damages and monetary relief related to their claimed losses from buying the NFTs.
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