Tesla and Spacex boss Elon Musk is being sued for an astonishing $258 billion over an alleged cryptocurrency “pyramid scheme.”
Euronews reports Dogecoin investor Keith Johnston has launched a lawsuit against the two companies.
He accuses them of racketeering by touting Dogecoin and driving up its price, before deliberately letting the price tumble.
The lawsuit says: “Defendants were aware since 2019 that Dogecoin had no value yet promoted Dogecoin to profit from its trading.
“Musk used his pedestal as World’s Richest man to operate and manipulate the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme for profit, exposure and amusement”.
The complaint also aggregates comments from Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others questioning the value of cryptocurrency.
Tesla, SpaceX and a lawyer for Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Johnson’s lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment on what specific evidence his client has or expects to have that proves Dogecoin is worthless and the defendants ran a pyramid scheme.
Johnson is seeking $86 billion (€81.7 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.”
Dogecoin, which started as a social media joke, surged after Musk began talking about it on Twitter.
The token’s price surged by around 4,000 percent in 2021.
This week it was trading at $0.058 (€0.047), compared to a May 2021 peak of about $0.74 (€0.70).
In February 2021, Tesla said it had bought $1.5 billion (€1.43 billion) of Bitcoin and for a short time accepted it as payment for vehicles.
Earlier this year, Musk said the electric carmaker would also accept Dogecoin as payment, tweeting: “Tesla merch buyable with Dogecoin”.
Shortly after he became Twitter’s biggest shareholder in April, Musk suggested a raft of changes to the social media giant’s Twitter Blue premium subscription service, including giving users an option to pay in Dogecoin.