The ongoing lawsuit has a complaint against Mercedes F1 that echoes the accusations, asserting that the team prominently featured FTX’s logo on its cars, merchandise, and marketing materials.
A group of FTX users has filed twin class-action lawsuits in a Florida district court, accusing the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Major League Baseball (MLB) of complicity in FTX’s alleged “massive, multibillion-dollar global fraud”.
The suits, filed on November 27, claim that both entities aided or actively participated in the fraudulent activities of FTX Group. The lawsuits also allege the promotion of unregistered securities. In 2021, both Mercedes F1 and MLB entered promotional deals with FTX, prominently displaying the exchange’s logo on various platforms, including cars, uniforms, hats, and other materials. The class complaint filing notes:
“The centerpiece, and most important feature, of the partnership, however, was the inclusion of FTX.US patches on all MLB umpire uniforms. The FTX.US patches marked the first time in the history of MLB, which dates back to the 1800s, that a sponsor brand has had its logo appear on umpire uniforms.”
In the ongoing lawsuit, the complaint against Mercedes F1 echoes the accusations, asserting that the team prominently featured FTX’s logo on its cars, merchandise, and marketing materials.
Additionally, the lawsuit claims that FTX consistently expressed support and congratulations to Mercedes F1 and its drivers, creating a “veneer of trustworthiness with Mercedes F1 fans”. The complaint suggests that this strategy was particularly effective due to parallel promotions of FTX by Mercedes F1.
Suing Celebrities for Promoting FTX
The group of FTX users involved in the ongoing legal actions has extended their lawsuits to include celebrities who endorsed the crypto exchange, such as Shaquille O’Neal and Tom Brady. The users accuse these celebrities of promoting unregistered securities, a claim that several of the public figures named in the lawsuits have contested, asserting they did not encourage deposits into FTX. Notably, three celebrities – American footballer Trevor Lawrence and YouTubers Kevin Paffrath and Tom Nash – have already settled the cases against them.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried faced legal repercussions with a conviction on seven charges related to fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering in November. Following FTX’s bankruptcy filing in November 2022, Major League Baseball (MLB) terminated its five-year promotional contract with FTX. Mercedes F1 also severed ties with FTX in the same year, removing the exchange’s logo from cars and merchandise.