Texas Investigates Tom Brady, Steph Curry's FTX Ads
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Texas Investigates Tom Brady, Steph Curry's FTX Ads

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Created 4mo ago, last updated 4mo ago

Tom Brady was one of a gaggle of sports superstars that the bankrupt crypto exchange's CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, lured to endorse FTX.

Texas Investigates Tom Brady, Steph Curry's FTX Ads

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The Golden State Warriors' Steph Curry and Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback Tom Brady and a number of other celebrities endorsers of the bankrupt FTX US cryptocurrency exchange are facing an investigation for violating Texas' securities law.

Joe Rotunda, director of enforcement at the Texas State Securities Board, told Bloomberg that the two star athletes' endorsement of the exchange may have violated its laws regarding disclosure of payments by FTX.

While not a top priority, Rotunda said his agency is "taking a close look at them" — notably what disclosures were made and how accessible to retail investors they were.

While Brady and his recently divorced ex-wife, model Gisele Bundchen were among the high-profile celebrities and athletes FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried used to attract customers to the exchange, and the pair took equity stakes in the business.

The spots were typically strange for FTX, with one featuring Brady using a flamethrower on a block of ice.

The pair — plus Curry, Shaquille O'Neal and a number of other endorsers — were slapped with a class action lawsuit in Miami federal court alleging they helped sell unregistered securities in the form of cryptocurrencies, virtually all of which the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has claimed are securities, and which most of the crypto industry refutes.

Along with them, FTX's Bankman-Fried brought in Los Angeles Angels' superstar Shohei Ohtani, tennis star Naomi Osaka, and for his $6.5 million Super Bowl ad, Larry David.

SBF also paid $135 million for naming rights to the arena of the NBA's Miami Heat, and splashed out $210 million on an esports team endorsement.

It's not the first time celebrity crypto endorsers have found themselves on the receiving end of securities regulators' complaints.

In October, Kim Kardashian reached a $1.26 million settlement — including a $1 million penalty — with the SEC for failing to disclose that she had been paid $250,000 to endorse EthereumMax.

Despite her use of the hashtag "#ad" on the Instagram post, anti-touting laws required her to make a lengthier disclosure, including how much she was paid.

That said, Kardashian and other celebrities like Floyd Mayweather and Steven Seagal who were forced into settlements by the SEC were pushing individual cryptocurrencies, not an exchange on which they could buy them.

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