NFL quarterback Trevor Lawrence, alongside popular YouTube influencers Kevin Paffrath and Tom Nash, has reached a settlement in a lawsuit surrounding their endorsement of the now-defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange. According to a court filing, the terms of the settlement remain undisclosed. This agreement marks the first resolution among the numerous celebrities and companies accused of assisting FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried in deceiving investors. Bankman-Fried is scheduled to stand trial in Manhattan next month, and other high-profile figures, including Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Steph Curry, Shaquille O’Neal, and Larry David, are also facing lawsuits related to their endorsement of FTX.
All of these class-action lawsuits have been consolidated in a federal court in Miami, along with complaints targeting venture capital and private equity firms, such as Sequoia Capital and Thoma Bravo, who invested in FTX. The cryptocurrency exchange gained considerable attention through celebrity endorsements, including securing the naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena and featuring a Super Bowl commercial starring Larry David. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the $1 billion case against the endorsers have disclosed that they are currently engaged in confidential settlement negotiations with the other defendants, leading to a likelihood of additional settlements being reached in the near future.
The lawsuits against FTX endorsers claim that their celebrity endorsements played a significant role in the platform’s rise but argue that the endorsers failed to disclose crucial details about their sponsorship agreements and compensation to potential investors. The initial lawsuit stated that while FTX paid the defendants handsomely to promote its brand and encourage their followers to invest, the endorsers did not disclose the nature, scope, and amount of their sponsorships, endorsement deals, and compensation. Furthermore, the lawsuit accuses the endorsers of neglecting to conduct thorough due diligence regarding FTX.
As part of his endorsement deal with FTX, Trevor Lawrence, the first overall NFL draft pick in 2021, received a payment of $500,000 in cryptocurrency. Kevin Paffrath, also known as a “landlord influencer,” promoted FTX on his YouTube channel, “Meet Kevin,” allegedly receiving $2,500 for each mention of the platform. The lawyers representing the endorsers assert that these advertisements did not actively encourage viewers to deposit money into FTX accounts. Additionally, they maintain that the endorsers bear no responsibility for FTX’s alleged misappropriation and mismanagement.
After the collapse of FTX in November 2022, both Kevin Paffrath and Tom Nash removed their endorsements of the cryptocurrency exchange from their YouTube channels and issued public apologies for their involvement. However, their actions in removing the endorsements and expressing remorse do not absolve them of potential legal consequences related to their endorsement activities.
Trevor Lawrence, alongside YouTube influencers Kevin Paffrath and Tom Nash, has settled a lawsuit over their endorsement of the now-defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange. This settlement marks the first resolution among several high-profile individuals and companies facing legal action related to FTX. The lawsuit alleges that endorsers, including Lawrence and Paffrath, failed to disclose key details about their sponsorship agreements and compensation, contributing to FTX’s rise. The legal proceedings are consolidated in a federal court in Miami, and discussions for confidential settlements with other defendants are in progress. As the trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried approaches, it remains to be seen how the outcome will affect the other ongoing lawsuits against endorsers and investors in FTX.