Shaq is avoiding lawyers trying to serve him in the FTX case

Shaquille O’Neal calls foul on lawyers who have been chasing him for months to serve a lawsuit accused the basketball legend of defrauding investors on the FTX crypto exchange.

Chucking legal documents into the front of O’Neal’s car as he drove quickly through the gates of his Georgia home did not count as proper service of a case, his lawyers said.

The seven-foot-one-inch former Los Angeles Lakers star and NBA commentator known as Shaq is one of several celebrities targeted by a suit that claims they funneled investors into a Ponzi scheme. scheme by promoting FTX’s unregistered securities.

O’Neal stood as a holdout in the group for not acknowledging receipt of the complaint despite what plaintiffs’ attorneys said were multiple attempts to present it to him in known Georgia settlements. and Texas and elsewhere, according to court files.

A month ago, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said they were willing to try an alternative method after their process server received a text message threatening that Shaq was living in the Bahamas.

So the lawyers sent an electronic link to O’Neal’s case on social media, arguing that should be enough given his status as an active user of Instagram and Twitter. They argued that he was clearly aware of the case, denying allegations of wrongdoing related to FTX in a December interview with CNBC, and they noted that the electronic service is permitted under Texas law. But the judge did not allow it.

the Moskowitz Law Firm was finally declared a success on April 17 when process servers caught up with O’Neal outside his Atlanta home.

Or so they thought.

O’Neal’s lawyers said in a filing Monday that the plaintiffs missed their deadline, and that tossing the documents into his car fell well short of legal requirements. They asked the judge to dismiss the case against O’Neal in its entirety.

Investors “have months and more to try,” O’Neal’s lawyers wrote. “Mr. O’Neal did not avoid service by failing to go to residences where plaintiffs delayed attempting service or by driving strangers who approached his car. The documents landed on a public road, according to the filing.

The case is Garrison v. Bankman-Fried, 22-cv-23753, US District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami).

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