Australian billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest is taking Facebook to court over scammy cryptocurrency ads that he alleges used his name to defraud victims.

The Fortescue Metals chairman is accusing Facebook of breaching Australia’s money-laundering laws, claiming that it “knowingly profits from this cycle of illegal ads” that it failed to remove.

An initial court hearing in the Western Australian Magistrates court is scheduled for Mar. 28, with a committal hearing expected later in 2022.

Forrest is bringing forward the charges under Part 10 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, with the consent of Attorney-General Michaelia Cash.

According to the filings, one Australian victim lost $952,000 AUD (worth $679,537.60) after falling for the scam. The court documents stated that the scam “defrauded victims out of millions of dollars.”

“These scenarios played out in the underlying scam, which used Dr. Forrest’s name, likeness and reputation to find victims, who often reported being swindled after believing Dr. Forrest was actually endorsing the investment scheme.”

Forrest’s lawyers said that although they do “not know the precise number or identities of the individuals defrauded by reason of this vicious scam, the scope of the harm is vast.”

They added that he has spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to distance himself from the scam since March 2019, when it first started being promoted on Facebook.

The complaint claims that Facebook’s access to user data has been a leading “contributor to the proliferation of illegal advertisements, “fake…


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