Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal is a basketball legend with four championship rings and an Olympic gold medalist who has two lawsuits dangling over his head.
The former basketball star, who has continued to keep himself in the public eye as an analyst, actor, and businessman, is one of several athletes linked to FTX, the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange company. The state of Florida has filed a lawsuit against Shaq asking for $1.5 billion in damages.
Reports suggest that Shaq has been avoiding legal papers. Let’s dive deep and figure out what the former basketball goat has been up to lately.
The FTX Scandal and Why Shaq Is Involved
Before we delve any further, let’s take a look at what the FTX scandal is all about. FTX was a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2019 and was promoted heavily by many athletes, including Shaq, in exchange for incentives. The company reportedly promised to pay its celebrity endorsers with cryptocurrency instead of cash to avoid losing its license.
However, the exchange failed to obtain a license from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, leading to its closure in May last year. The State of Florida filed a lawsuit against FTX and the athletes who endorsed it, claiming that investors lost over $1.5 billion in the scam.
The Involvement of Other Athletes
Shaq is not the only athlete whose name has been linked to the FTX scandal. Other athletes include tennis star Naomi Osaka, NFL quarterback Tom Brady, and NBA player Steph Curry.
These athletes were also paid millions of dollars in cryptocurrency to endorse the virtual currency exchange, and they are all named in the lawsuit brought by the State of Florida.
Shaq Evades Being Served Legal Papers
The State of Florida has been trying to serve Shaq O’Neal legal papers relating to the $1.5 billion lawsuit, but he has managed to evade the process service so far. However, on Tuesday night, lawyers managed to serve him the papers before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.
Nonethelss, this was not the only lawsuit Shaq was served that evening. He was also given papers about a separate lawsuit, which involves a platform he founded in 2022 called ‘Astrals Project.’
The suit seeks $15 million in damages as investors claim O’Neal violated security laws by selling unregistered tokens.
Why Shaq Doesn’t Want to be Served in the First Place
It is not uncommon for someone facing a lawsuit to try to avoid being served. They may fear that if they are served, it will be a public admission of guilt or may represent a tipping point for the case. Additionally, if they are served in their residence, it can be inconvenient, especially if it interrupts their personal life.
Thus, Shaq’s lawyers allege that the papers about the FTX lawsuit were thrown at his vehicle and landed on a public road, which did not meet the legal requirements for proper service.