In a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan, plaintiff Keith Johnson accused Musk, electric car company Tesla Inc and space tourism company SpaceX of fraud for promoting dogecoin and raising the price of the asset, and then letting it go. the price to fall.
Musk is the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX.
“The defendants were aware as early as 2019 that dogecoin had no value, but they promoted dogecoin to take advantage of its trading,” the complaint reads. “Musk used his pedestal as the richest man in the world to operate and manipulate the dogecoin pyramid scheme for profit, exposure, and entertainment.”
The complaint also includes comments from Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others questioning the value of cryptocurrencies.
Tesla, SpaceX and a lawyer for Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Johnson’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment on what specific evidence his client has or is expected to prove that dogecoin is worthless and that the defendants ran a pyramid scheme.
Johnson is seeking $ 86 billion in damages, representing a decline in the market value of dogecoin from May 2021, and wants the amount to be tripled.
He also wants to prevent Musk and his companies from promoting dogecoin and a judge to declare dogecoin trading a gamble in accordance with federal and New York law.
The complaint alleges that the dogecoin sale began around the time Musk hosted NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and, acting as a fictional financial expert in a “Weekend Update” segment, called dogecoin a “scam.”
In February 2021, Tesla announced that it had bought $ 1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and, for a short period of time, accepted it as payment for vehicles.
Dogecoin traded at about 5.8 cents on Thursday, down from its May 2021 peak of about 74 cents.
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