Reports are circulating within the Formula 1 community about Mercedes finding itself entangled in the legal quagmire surrounding its former sponsor, the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. The lawsuit, valued at a staggering $11 billion, saw the founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, being declared guilty, triggering a chain reaction of legal actions that now include Mercedes. This latest lawsuit alleges that sponsors and partners associated with Mercedes played a role in the sale of unregulated securities.
The legal battle was initiated in Miami, Florida, where plaintiffs claim that the sponsors’ active promotion of FTX contributed to what they describe as a “massive, multi-billion-dollar global fraud.” Mercedes had entered into a partnership with FTX in 2021, but the collaboration came to an end in late 2022. During the period when FTX sponsored the Mercedes Formula 1 team, their distinctive logo adorned the livery of the Mercedes F1 cars.
A jury has delivered a verdict of guilty against Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, on charges of fraud, involving the misappropriation of more than $10 billion from investors and customers. Bankman-Fried now stands on the precipice of a substantial prison sentence, with his sentencing scheduled for March 28, 2024. In response to the verdict, his legal counsel, Mark Cohen, issued the following statement:
“Mr. Bankman Fried maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him.”