Elon Musk was sued for $258 billion on Thursday by a Dogecoin investor who accused him of running a pyramid scheme to support the cryptocurrency.
In a complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, plaintiff Keith Johnson accused Musk, electric car company Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and space tourism company SpaceX of racketeering for touting Dogecoin and driving up its price, only to then let the price tumble.
The complaint also aggregates comments from Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others questioning the value of cryptocurrency.
A lawyer for Johnson 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 in damages, representing the decline in Dogecoin’s market value since May 2021, and wants it tripled.
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.”
Tesla in February 2021 said it had bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin and for a short time accepted it as payment for vehicles.
Dogecoin traded at about 5.8 cents on Thursday, down from its May 2021 peak of about 74 cents.
The case is Johnson v. Musk et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-05037. (Reuters)