Things are looking pretty, prettyy, prettyyy bad for Larry David, as well as a slew of other famous people who previously helped to promote the now-wrecked cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
A class action lawsuit filed in Florida on Tuesday lists as defendants a host of celebrities who shilled for the platform, including David, football god Tom Brady, his ex-wife Gisele Bundchen, basketball stars Shaq and Steph Curry, and others. The suit also lists the firm’s former CEO and founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, or SBF, as a defendant, and accuses the company of being a “deceptive” business that engaged in harmful and fraudulent behavior.
All I can think is: poor Larry. The maestro behind Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm unfortunately starred in a Super Bowl ad earlier this year promoting the exchange. The ad, which is honestly quite funny, shows the comedian missing out on a number of technological innovations throughout history (the wheel, forks, a toilet), only to turn down investment in FTX, too. The ad ends with the tagline DON’T BE LIKE LARRY, implying the viewer should invest in the crypto exchange because it is the way of the future.
You can sorta imagine David being hectored into appearing in the advert by his agent, though it’s still a bit disappointing that the Curb star actually did it. Now, obviously, he might be all kinds of trouble.
The lawyers filing the new lawsuit, powerhouse New York attorney David Boies and Adam Moskowitz, write that FTX was a “Ponzi scheme” and argue that the actions of the defendants constituted fraud that impacted “thousands, if not millions, of consumers nationwide.” FTX itself has admitted to owing money to at least a million customers. The legal argument revolves around the idea that FTX and its supporters were ilegally promoting unregistered securities—which is a claim that has been made in previous lawsuits against crypto companies:
“...FTX’s fraudulent scheme was designed to take advantage of unsophisticated investors from across the country, who utilize mobile apps to make their investments. As a result, American consumers collectively sustained over $11 billion dollars in damages.”
Big stars getting sued over this kind of thing isn’t exactly anomalous these days. In recent years, a swell of celebrity crypto endorsements has led to more and more legal action. Kim Kardashian, who notoriously promoted a little-known shitcoin last year, was sued for her role in driving investors to the project. Critics alleged that the coin had all the markings of a pump-and-dump scheme.
Many of the celebrities listed in the new FTX lawsuit served as “brand ambassadors” for the company—using advertisements and press appearances to help promote the exchange and shore up its reputation as one of the most stable and successful crypto entities on the market.
Unfortunately, that reputation went down in a shuddering ball of flames last week when it came to light that FTX executives had been misappropriating massive amounts of users’ funds for risky bets. Since then, the company has filed for bankruptcy, billions of dollars in assets are missing, the exchange has been hacked and hundreds of millions were stolen, and the U.S. is now debating whether to extradite SBF back to the states to answer for possible criminal charges. Suffice it to say things aren’t going well, and people who previously vouched for the company look pretty bad.
Of course, there’s only one thing that could encapsulate this whole clusterfuck, and that’s an update of Larry’s FTX commercial with the traditional Curb jingle appended to it. Naturally, someone already made one:
In this case, real Larry—and everybody else in the world—probably should have listened to TV Larry and steered clear of what was very obviously a bad idea. If there’s one silver lining, though, it’s that you can sorta imagine the FTX disaster getting written into the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. It would make for a stellar story arc, and could redeem this whole fiasco—if only slightly.