Elon Musk sued $258 billion over claims he ran a Ponzi scheme to promote Dogecoin | Science and technology news


Elon Musk is being sued for $258 billion (£209 billion) over allegations that he operated a Ponzi scheme to promote a cryptocurrency called Dogecoin.

The digital asset was launched in 2013 as a hoax intended to mock Bitcoin.

But the cryptocurrency — also known as DOGE — made headlines after surging dramatically over the past year.

In just over four months, Dogecoin surged from $0.004 to $0.73 – a gain of more than 18,000%.

Musk regularly tweeted about DOGE during this period, and on the day the coin began to fall, he described it as a “hustle” on US comedy show Saturday Night Live.

Dogecoin has fallen dramatically over the past year – and as of this writing, it is down 92% from the record high set last May.

The world’s richest man – alongside Tesla and SpaceX, the companies of which he is CEO – has been accused of “promoting Dogecoin to profit from his trading”.

A lawsuit filed in a New York court adds, “Musk used his pedestal as the richest man alive to operate and manipulate the Dogecoin pyramid scheme for profit, exposure, and entertainment.”

Musk is being sued by an American named Keith Johnson, who claims he was “cheated out of money” based on the entrepreneur’s recommendations.

Mr Johnson’s lawyers claim that cryptocurrency “has no value at all” – and court filings include quotes from billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, both of whom have questioned the value of such digital assets.

The plaintiff wants to represent those who have lost money through Dogecoin since 2019.

In addition to his $258 billion in damages, he also wants Musk, Tesla and SpaceX to be banned from advertising DOGE.

Earlier this year, Tesla began accepting Dogecoin as a payment method for goods — but not for its electric cars.

Elon Musk – who is in the process of taking over Twitter – has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

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