- Yuga Labs has been sued for paying celebrities to secretly promote Bored Ape NFTs
- Among the 37 accused entities are Madonna, Kevin Hart, MoonPay and Universal TV
- The plaintiffs allege that the arrangement went against consumer protection rights among other charges
Bored Ape NFTs creator Yuga Labs has been taken to court for allegedly paying prominent celebrities and other entities to secretly promote digital collectibles in the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection (BAYC). The lawsuit alleges that clandestine Bored Ape promotion was against consumer protection laws and that Yuga Labs is dealing with securities without proper regulatory approval. Interestingly, this is the second lawsuit, from the same law firm, targeting Yuga Labs this year.
Oseary and MoonPay are the Key Links
Prominent celebrities mentioned in the suit include Kevin Hart, Madonna, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Yuga’s representative Guy Oseary and famous artist Mike ‘Beeple’ Winkelmann, most of whom are residents of California. Some of the institutions on the list are Universal TV and MoonPay. Among the mentioned parties, MoonPay and Oseary appear to have played a huge part in the secret Bored Ape promotion.
According to the suit, Oseary represented Yuga Labs in persuading celebrities to publicly endorse the digital apes while MoonPay acted as a financial conduit between the Bored Ape creator and the celebrities. Coincidentally, some of the mentioned celebrities like Kevin Hart and Curry Hilton have a stake in MoonPay, further contributing to the credibility of the allegations.
The Plaintiffs are “Opportunistic and Parasitic”
Yuga Labs has however denied the allegations saying that the plaintiffs from Scott+Scott law firm are “opportunistic and parasitic,” adding that they are ready to prove them wrong. In July, the law firm accused Yuga Labs of offering securities in the form of Bored Apes without approval from the relevant authorities.
Three months later, the US securities watchdog, SEC, revealed that it’s investigating Yuga Labs over claims of selling unregistered securities. If the plaintiffs win the case, it’ll expose the magnitude of manipulation in the crypto and NFT spaces.