Elon Musk sued for $258 billion over Dogecoin
Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX are being sued for an incredible $258 billion – not a typo, that’s billion– to run a pyramid scheme through the Dogecoin cryptocurrency. According to a Reuters (opens in a new tab) report, the lawsuit was filed by Dogecoin investor Keith Johnson, who accused Musk of using his wealth and position as CEO of both companies to promote Dogecoin to drive up its price, before ultimately dropping it.
“The defendants knew since 2019 that Dogecoin had no value but promoted Dogecoin to profit from its trade,” the complaint states. “Musk used his pedestal as the richest man in the world to exploit and manipulate the Dogecoin pyramid scheme for profit, exposure and amusement.”
Dogecoin was introduced in 2013 mostly as a joke, but there is no satire under capitalism, and in a very short time it became the first meme coin and a legit cryptocurrency (as it is). is). Its value stayed close to zero for years until Musk tweeted about it (opens in a new tab) at the end of 2020, which caused a sharp rise in prices. Subsequent tweets in 2021 pushed him even higher; it peaked in May 2021 at $0.74 but has since crashed, losing over 90% of its price (opens in a new tab)and currently sits at around $0.06.
Ironically, the lawsuit claims the Dogecoin dump began when Musk hosted Saturday Night Live, which also happened in May 2021: During a weekend update segment, Musk appeared as only a cryptocurrency expert, but after trying and failing many times to explain what Dogecoin is, he finally agreed with the host that it was all “a hustler”.
Johnson wants Musk and his companies banned from promoting Dogecoin and the Dogecoin trade declared gambling under federal and state laws. He also wants, again, $258 billion: $86 billion in actual damages, representing the loss in value of Dogecoin since May 2021, plus a claim for treble damages. Seems like a long shot – suing is a far cry from winning one (or even having it heard) and even if Johnson comes out on top, Musk is rich but he’s not that rich – but I guess that if you’re going to shoot, you might as well aim high.
Musk isn’t the only wealthy person in trouble for promoting Dogecoin. Former antivirus guru John McAfee has been charged with fraud (opens in a new tab) in 2021 for running programs involving multiple cryptocurrencies, including Dogecoin. Shortly before McAfee was extradited to the United States to face charges, he was found dead (opens in a new tab) in a Spanish prison cell.