Boxer Floyd Mayweather, music producer and media personality DJ Khaled, along with two employees of Centra Tech, have been able to escape repercussions with respect to a lawsuit filed against the startup’s fraudulent ICO.
Centra Tech raised $32 million from its token sale, only for its founders to later be arrested. The two celebrities promoted the project both in person and through their social media accounts. In Mayweather’s case, the boxer published photos of himself holding the Centra debit card in a bid to attract customers to the company, with the caption: “You can call me Floyd ‘Crypto’ Mayweather from now on.”
Mayweather and Khaled have previously settled charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in November 2018 with respect to the promotion of the ICO, as neither of them disclosed the fact that they were paid by Centra Tech. While neither celebrity admitted or denied the agency’s findings; they both agreed to pay fines. The two also agreed to not promote securities of any kind for a period of three years. This was significant as it marked the first time that the SEC charged any individuals with unlawfully promoting ICOs.
A new court document, uploaded by CoinDesk, showed that federal Judge Robert Scola of the Southern District of Florida has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Scola claims that the plaintiffs were unable to sufficiently prove that they purchased Centra Tech’s CTR tokens as a result of the defendants’ actions.
Scola also explained that Steven Sykes should not be held responsible. Scola stated: “The allegations against Sykes are based on his involvement with the website. The Complaint, however, is devoid of any specificity with regard to the content of the website, when the website was launched, the alleged misstatements on the website, who determined the content on the website, and if the Plaintiffs ever even visited the website.” Scola added that the same logic applied to Steven Stanley as well.
The order did not absolve the three founders of Centra Tech: Sam Sharma, Raymond Trapani, and Robert Farkas. That lawsuit will proceed, as the order did not dismiss these charges.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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