Beloved Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has finally been served in a class-action lawsuit involving high-profile FTX endorsers.
In a statement obtained by Dailymail.com, O’Neal was served outside one of his homes at 4pm Sunday after a three-month process to serve the NBA great.
According to co-counsel on the FTX class-action, Adam Moskowitz, ‘The Diesel’ ‘will be required to appear in federal court.’
Earlier this month, plaintiffs including FTX retail investor Edwin Garrison filed a new motion in the US District Court Southern District of Florida Miami to serve O’Neal via alternate means.
Those included serving him through his official social media accounts after, according to the lawyers for the plaintiffs, ‘is evading service by any means necessary.’ This was denied by District Judge K. Michael Moore last week. Instead, a deadline of Monday was given to serve O’Neal in traditional fashion.
The NBA legend was a ‘paid spokesperson’ for the now bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange
Retired QB Tom Brady and ex-wife Gisele Bundchen both promoted FTX during their marriage
O’Neal is one of several high-profile celebrities, including Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen and Steph Curry, listed as defendants in a class-action lawsuit.
The suit was filed last November by Garrison, who claims he opened an account with the now-bankrupt crypto exchange after ‘being exposed to’ celebrity endorsements and their alleged ‘misrepresentations and omissions.’
‘Mr. O’Neal’s conduct over the last five months in evading service in this action is unprecedented, and frankly shocking, based upon on the extent of his public appearances, persona, and presence,’ Moskowitz told Dailymail.com earlier this month.
Moskowitz also accused O’Neal of being deceitful in a commercial, so he could earn ‘millions of dollars’.
O’Neal hosted a Super Bowl Party at Shaq’s Fun House in partnership with FTX in February 2022, ahead of Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.
FTX was a high-profile cryptocurrency exchange that made major inroads with investors, thanks to celebrity endorsements. On November 11, it filed for bankruptcy.
The following month, O’Neal told CNBC he was merely a ‘paid spokesperson.’
‘A lot of people think I’m involved, but I was just a paid spokesperson for a commercial,’ O’Neal said.
In September 2021, speaking on cryptocurrency to CNBC Make It, O’Neal remarked: ‘I don’t understand it, so I will probably stay away from it until I get a full understanding of what it is…From my experience, it is too good to be true.’
Shaquille O’Neal hosted a Super Bowl Party, ‘Shaq’s Fun House’ in 2022, presented by FTX
In a presentation to creditors publicly released last month, auditors leading FTX through bankruptcy said they had identified just $2.8 billion in assets towards the $11.6bn that customers are owed from their accounts.
Other defendants listed in the suit are the Golden State Warriors, tennis player Naomi Osaka, Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem, former MLB star David Ortiz, LA Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, comedian Larry David, entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary and FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried.
The lawsuit argues the exchange’s interest-bearing accounts were technically a security, requiring its endorsers to publicize details of their compensations from FTX.
‘They have never disclosed the nature, scope, and amount of compensation they personally received in exchange for the promotion,’ the complaint alleges.
Both Brady and Stephen Curry signed endorsement deals with Bankman-Fried’s FTX
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on stage with Gisele Bundchen at a conference during 2022
Tennis star Naomi Osaka also signed a deal with FTX before the crypto exchange went bust