Tesla CEO Elon Musk is being sued in the third amendment of a class action lawsuit filed by investors of Dogecoin, a popular cryptocurrency, accusing him of insider trading that cost them billions.
Musk is again being accused of using Twitter posts, paying influencers, and using his 2021 appearance on Saturday Night Live, along with other “publicity stunts,” to surge the price of Dogecoin and sell it for profit. Doge had surged considerably before Musk was on SNL, trading at over $0.68 per coin before collapsing to its current levels of just $0.07.
Dogecoin felt a slight boost of 30 percent in April when Musk changed the Twitter logo to a Dogecoin Shiba Inu Dog, and Musk sold about $124 million of the crypto, which is another case made in the lawsuit, according to Reuters.
The filing says a “deliberate course of carnival barking, market manipulation and insider trading” helped Musk promote his companies and himself while hurting investors who have been hit with tumultuous swings in the price of the coin over the past two years.
They also claim the 36,000 percent increase in price over the past two years was used by Musk to inflate the value before he sold the substantial sum of Dogecoin in April.
This is the third amended complaint against Musk from the Dogecoin investors, which began last June. Musk and his attorneys asked a lawyer to throw out the lawsuit in March. The plaintiffs are seeking $258 billion in damages, but Musk and his legal team has said the action has zero basis.
“There is nothing unlawful about tweeting words of support for, or funny pictures about, a legitimate cryptocurrency that continues to hold a market cap of nearly $10 billion. This court should put a stop to plaintiffs’ fantasy and dismiss the complaint,” the attorneys wrote in March.
The case is Johnson et al v. Musk et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-05037, and it is expected to continue as U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said the third amended complaint will “likely” be allowed.