Plaintiff accuses Tesla CEO of manipulating cryptocurrency for ‘revenue, publicity and amusement’.
Elon Musk was sued for $258bn on Thursday by a Dogecoin investor who accused him of operating a pyramid scheme to assist the cryptocurrency.
In a criticism filed in federal courtroom in Manhattan, plaintiff Keith Johnson accused Musk, electrical automobile firm Tesla Inc and area tourism firm SpaceX of racketeering for touting Dogecoin and driving up its worth, solely to then let the value tumble.
“Defendants have been conscious since 2019 that Dogecoin had no worth but promoted Dogecoin to revenue from its buying and selling,” the criticism mentioned. “Musk used his pedestal as World’s Richest man to function and manipulate the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme for revenue, publicity and amusement.”
The criticism additionally aggregates feedback from Warren Buffett, Invoice Gates and others questioning the worth of cryptocurrency.
Tesla, SpaceX, and a lawyer for Musk didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
A lawyer for Johnson didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon what particular proof his shopper has or expects to have that proves Dogecoin is nugatory and the defendants ran a pyramid scheme.
Johnson is searching for damages value triple the $86bn decline in Dogecoin’s market worth since Might 2021.
He additionally needs to dam Musk and his firms from selling Dogecoin and a choose to declare that buying and selling Dogecoin is playing underneath federal and New York regulation.
The criticism mentioned Dogecoin’s selloff started across the time Musk hosted the NBC present “Saturday Night time Reside and, playing a fictitious financial expert on a Weekend Update segment, called Dogecoin “a hustle”.
Tesla in February 2021 mentioned it had purchased $1.5bn of Bitcoin and for a short while accepted it as cost for autos.
Dogecoin traded at about 5.8 cents on Thursday, down from its Might 2021 peak of about 74 cents.