The legendary former Manchester United star joined forces with Binance on a sponsorship deal in June 2022, releasing a range of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The exchange has been branded ‘a significant risk’ to consumers by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Despite the concerns, the Portuguese star appears to still be involved with Binance and is an active partner of the company, regularly asking his hundreds of millions of social media followers to ‘join his Web3 community’.
As a result, the plaintiffs’ lawyers have levelled the claim against the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to say that his alliance with the company had seen him ‘engaged in the mass solicitation of investments in unregistered securities’.
In the complaint filed to the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida in Miami, Ronaldo is claimed to have ‘promoted, assisted in, and/or actively participated in the offer and sale of unregistered securities in coordination with Binance’.
The complaint then states that users were more likely to invest in the alleged unregistered securities and Binance’s crypto yield program as a result of Ronaldo’s NFTs.
Worth more than 700 million followers across X and Instagram, the plaintiffs argue that the Al-Nassr star has helped to grow Binance’s user base with ‘a sustained and aggressive promotion and advertising campaign’.
The complaint also cites that the player, as a ‘paid spokesman’, should have disclosed any payments received for promoting cryptocurrencies as mandated by US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidelines.
Binance are already involved in a huge legal battle that has seen their founder, Changpeng Zhao, plead guilty to breaching US Anti-Money Laundering laws, and step down from the company.
The company will pay a £3.39billion settlement as part of the plea, and Zhao could face over a year imprisonment as a result.