After an outrageous three-month hunt, basketball star Shaquille O’Neal has finally been served for his involvement in the collapsed FTX exchange.
Shaq first appeared in an FTX ad last June, claiming he wanted to help make digital assets accessible to the masses. “I’m all in. Are you?” he posed. A few months later, FTX collapsed. Investors started going after all the celebrities who promoted the exchange, including comedian Larry David, tennis star Naomi Osaka, NFL legend Tom Brady and Shaq.
Since the lawsuit was filed by FTX user Edwin Garrison three months ago, all the other defendants have been served except for Shaq. Process servers have tried to pin him down in vain. With homes in Nevada, California, Florida, Georgia, and the Bahamas, he proved to be a tough target.
Finally, Shaq has been served. Moskowitz, the law firm for the plaintiff, confirmed Sunday that it had finally pinned him down as he left his Atlanta home. It stated that the process had been recorded on his home cameras and that Shaq must not “destroy or erase any of these security tapes.”
UPDATE: Plaintiffs in the billion $ FTX class action case just served @SHAQ outside his house. His home video cameras recorded our service and we made it very clear that he is not to destroy or erase any of these security tapes, because they must be preserved for our lawsuit.
— The Moskowitz Law Firm (@moskowitzesq) April 17, 2023
Speaking to one outlet, attorney Adam Moskowitz, who is representing the plaintiff, stated, “We just served personally Shaquille O’Neal outside his house with a copy of our complaint at 4pm. We took Judge Moore’s instructions very seriously and are glad to finally end this silly sideshow.”
‘Stop ducking us’
It’s not unheard of for defendants to evade process servers. However, Shaq’s case was curious since he’s a public figure who, in those five months, continued to make public appearances. He has been touring as a DJ, runs a podcast, and even has a game show on national television.
“We have been standing outside your TNT studios in Atlanta all week, but your security guards will not let us in, to just hand deliver our legal complaint,” Moskowitz LLP alleged.
The hunt for Shaq even took a dark turn when one of the process servers received a threat, forcing him to quit.
“Shaq lives in the Bahamas u stupid fuck give Beth Shaw my regards,” stated a text to the server, as revealed on court documents. Beth is the server’s wife. It’s still unknown who sent the message, but it was enough for the server to quit, fearing for his family’s safety.
While he has yet to address the lawsuit service circus, the NBA Hall of Famer has distanced himself from Sam Bankman-Fried’s failed empire in the past. In an interview last December, he claimed he was just hired for the ad.
“A lot of people think I’m involved, but I was just a paid spokesperson for a commercial,” he told CNBC.
Moskowitz served Shaq at the buzzer: Florida Judge Michael Moore had set a Monday deadline for the plaintiffs to serve Shaq. The law firm was getting antsy and had even requested to serve him on social media, a request Judge Moore shot down. Previously, a New York judge allowed digital asset hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) founders to be served over Twitter.
Some legal experts believe that dodging the court papers was a bad move on Shaq’s part as it unnecessarily antagonizes the judge.
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