Billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Crypto Ad Scam Lawsuit Against Meta to Proceed, Judge Rules

Billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Crypto Ad Scam Lawsuit Against Meta to Proceed, Judge Rules

Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest’s lawsuit against Meta Platforms, Inc. for hosting fraudulent crypto ads using his likeness will proceed, as U.S. District Court Judge Casey Pitts ruled on Monday against Meta’s attempt to dismiss the case.

Andrew Forrest’s Lawsuit Against Meta Moves Forward

In the court filing, Judge Pitts allowed Forrest’s claims of negligence against Meta to advance, rejecting legal challenges from the company led by Mark Zuckerberg. The ruling also enables Forrest to argue that Meta was complicit in creating and disseminating the scam advertisements. These ads, which utilized software provided by Meta, allegedly misappropriated Forrest’s likeness and targeted specific users.

“Dr. Forrest claims that Meta profited more from ads that included his likeness than it would have if the ads had not,” the judgment reads in part. “This is enough to adequately plead that the alleged misappropriation was to Meta’s advantage.”

Meta’s Response to Crypto Scam Ad Allegations

Forrest discovered in 2019 that his name and likeness were being used in fraudulent ads promoting cryptocurrencies on Meta platforms. He claims that over 1,000 such ads ran between April and November last year, causing significant financial losses for victims. Some ads included fake testimonials and doctored “deepfake” videos of Forrest.

Despite assurances from Meta to address the issue, many fraudulent ads continued to circulate, with some still active. Meta has largely shifted the blame to third-party users who created the ads, offering only sympathy to the affected individuals.

Forrest’s Determination to Hold Meta Accountable

Forrest’s legal battle gained momentum after prosecutors in Australia dropped his criminal charges against Meta in April due to insufficient evidence. Forrest, whose net worth is estimated at $16.5 billion, described the decision as “a tragedy for innocent parents and grandparents who have lost their life savings.”

However, Judge Pitts’ ruling could pave the way for Forrest to establish Meta’s liability in the crypto ad scam. “This is a crucial strategic victory in the battle to hold Facebook accountable,” Forrest stated.

Conclusion

The advancement of Andrew Forrest’s lawsuit marks a significant development in his efforts to hold Meta accountable for allegedly hosting and profiting from fraudulent crypto advertisements using his likeness. As the case proceeds, it could set a precedent for how social media platforms manage and take responsibility for user-generated content.

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