Shaq Played Active Role in Solana NFT Project Before Abandoning It, Lawsuit Alleges

Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has been accused of abandoning his active involvement in a Solana NFT (Non-Fungible Token) project, according to a new lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that Shaq played a significant role in the project before abruptly leaving, leading to financial losses for investors. The incident highlights the increasing popularity of NFTs and the potential risks associated with celebrity endorsements in the blockchain space. Despite the lawsuit, the Solana NFT project continues to gain traction and attract attention from investors and collectors alike.

Title 1: Shaquille O’Neal Faces Securities Lawsuit Over NFT Project Astrals

Title 2: Lawsuit Alleges Shaq Violated Securities Laws with Solana-based NFT Offering

In a recent development, an amended complaint has been filed in the federal class action lawsuit against basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal over his NFT project Astrals. The complaint accuses O’Neal of violating securities laws by offering Solana-based assets and an associated token. Represented by The Moskowitz Law Firm, the lead plaintiffs, appointed by a district judge in Florida, consider this a significant step forward in the case.

According to Adam Moskowitz, the Managing Partner of The Moskowitz Law Firm, being selected as the lead plaintiffs and class counsel brings them a newfound authority to represent all investors. Moskowitz’s firm is also actively involved in other crypto-related class action lawsuits, including cases involving collapsed firms Voyager and FTX. The lawsuit against O’Neal focuses on his involvement with the Astrals project and its alleged connection to his celebrity status.

The amended complaint, which is twice the length of the initial filing, provides a more comprehensive view of O’Neal’s role in Astrals, citing now-deleted videos and tweets obtained from Moskowitz claims that O’Neal was in frequent contact with the Astral team, highlighting the basketball icon’s deep involvement. However, representatives for O’Neal have not yet responded to Decrypt’s request for comment on the matter.

The lawsuit alleges that O’Neal’s association with Astrals significantly influenced the project’s value, mostly due to his celebrity status. Following the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which O’Neal had endorsed, the basketball legend seemingly disappeared from the Astrals community. The complaint claims that, in his final post on the Astrals Discord community, O’Neal shared a GIF from the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” with the phrase “I’m not fucking leaving.”

Astrals, a Solana-based NFT project, consisted of “metaverse-ready” avatars linked to a DAO and a story-driven role-playing game. The lawsuit also questions the legitimacy of the DAO’s governance token, $GLXY, suggesting that it may be an unregistered security. The complaint mentions two venture capital firms, Cypher Capital and MH Ventures, which allegedly struck partnerships with Astrals and traded $GLXY. While not listed as defendants, these firms will be served with subpoenas as the lawsuit progresses.

O’Neal’s lawyers previously attempted to have the class-action lawsuit dismissed, arguing that the digital assets in question were intended for gamers, not investors. However, their motion was denied by the district judge overseeing the case. O’Neal now faces a September 29 deadline to respond to the amended complaint.

As the legal proceedings continue, the crypto community awaits the outcome of this high-profile case, which could have implications for the regulation of NFT projects and celebrity endorsements in the crypto space. Stay informed with Decrypt for the latest updates on this lawsuit and other significant developments in the world of cryptocurrencies.

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