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Musk sued for $258bln over alleged Dogecoin pyramid scheme

written by Bella Palmer

Plaintiff Keith Johnson accused Musk, Tesla and SpaceX of racketeering for touting Dogecoin and driving up its price, only to then let the price tumble

Elon Musk was sued for $258 billion on Thursday (June 16) by a Dogecoin investor who accused him of running a pyramid scheme to support the cryptocurrency.

In a complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, plaintiff Keith Johnson accused Musk, electric car company Tesla and space tourism company SpaceX of racketeering for touting Dogecoin and driving up its price, only to then let the price tumble.

Musk is CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX.

Defendants were aware since 2019 that Dogecoin had no value yet promoted Dogecoin to profit from its trading, the complaint said. Musk used his pedestal as World's richest man to operate and manipulate the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme for profit, exposure and amusement.

In the filing, plaintiff Keith Johnson, a U.S. citizen, alleges that Musk and his corporations were ‘unjustly enriched’ by $86 billion as a result of wire fraud, gambling enterprise, false advertising, deceptive practices, and other unlawful conduct.

The complaint also aggregates comments from Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others questioning the value of cryptocurrency.

Elon Musk openly supported Dogecoin in 2021, tweeting in May that he was working with the cryptocurrency's developers to improve transaction efficiency. Earlier in the year, he even ran a poll on social media asking if Tesla should accept Dogecoin as a form of payment. Then in May 2022, he said on Twitter that Dogecoin can be used to buy Tesla and SpaceX merchandise.

Johnson is seeking $86 billion in damages, representing the decline in Dogecoin's market value since May 2021, and wants it tripled.

He also wants to block Musk and his companies from promoting Dogecoin and a judge to declare that trading Dogecoin is gambling under federal and New York law.

The complaint said Dogecoin's selloff began around the time Musk hosted the NBC show Saturday Night Live and, playing a fictitious financial expert on a ‘Weekend Update’ segment, called Dogecoin ‘a hustle.’


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