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The company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs is being sued for using celebrities to promote their products

Sam Tabahriti   

The company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs is being sued for using celebrities to promote their products
  • The firm behind Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs is being sued for not disclosing celebrities' involvement.
  • The lawsuit alleged that Yuga Labs manufactured celebrity endorsements and misleading promotions.

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Yugo Labs, the company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club, on behalf of investors who claim it failed to disclose the alleged involvement of celebrities in promoting and selling NFTs, court papers show.

The lawsuit claimed that stars including Justin Bieber, Serena Williams, and Madonna promoted Bored Ape misleadingly.

The legal action against blockchain cryptocurrency startup Yuga Labs was filed on Friday in California District Court.

Plaintiffs Adonis Real and Adam Titcher have been investing in YugoLabs NFTs since April 2021, per the court documents.

The complaint alleged that "billions of dollars" were generated in sales and re-sales through manufactured celebrity endorsements and misleading promotions, and "at no point did any of the defendants register these securities with the SEC."

Dozens of other celebrities are named as defendants in the suit for their involvement in "promoting and selling a suite of digital assets," the court papers stated, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Paris Hilton, Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Hart, DJ Khaled, and Steph Curry.

The unique selling point of Yuga Labs' NFT collection, called the Bored Ape Yacht Club, is that NFT owners become members of an exclusive "club" that included these celebrities.

"In our view, these claims are opportunistic and parasitic. We strongly believe that they are without merit, and look forward to proving as much," a Yuga Labs spokesperson told Insider.

The exclusivity, according to the lawsuit, was "entirely manufactured" by Guy Oseary, a Hollywood talent agent, YugoLabs executives, and a front operation "MoonPay," to promote and sell digital assets. MoonPay is a platform that facilitates the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies.

The documents also cited that "MoonPay purports to be a white-glove service designed to help the super-rich and celebrities buy NFTs 'without all the hassle of setting up a wallet, buying crypto, using that crypto to purchase an NFT, and then taking custody of it'."

"In truth, the Executive Defendants and Oseary used their connections to MoonPay and its service as a covert way to compensate the Promoter Defendants for their promotions of the BAYC NFTs without disclosing it to unsuspecting investors," according to the lawsuit.

"The executives at Yuga and Oseary together devised a plan to leverage their vast network of A-list musicians, athletes, and celebrity clients and associates to misleadingly promote and sell the Yuga Financial Products," the documents stated.

Bored Ape, which comprises more than 10,000 NFTs depicting cartoon monkeys wearing different outfits, is one of the most successful NFT art collections, valued at more than $1 billion.


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