Elon Musk is accused of orchestrating a pyramid scheme to support the cryptocurrency Dogecoin in the $258 billion racketeering complaint, which has grown to include six additional defendants as well as his tunnel building company, Boring Co., and seven additional investor plaintiffs.
The price of Dogecoin was purposefully driven up by more than 36,000% over the course of two years, according to an amended complaint that was filed on Tuesday evening in Manhattan federal court by Musk, his electric car company Tesla Inc., his space tourism company SpaceX, Boring, and other parties. Then, the price was allowed to crash.
Despite knowing all along that the currency had no inherent worth and that its value “depended purely on marketing,” the defendants “profited tens of billions of dollars” as a result at the expense of other Dogecoin investors, the complaint claimed.
Requests for comment on Wednesday were not immediately answered by Tesla, SpaceX, or Boring. In 2020, Tesla closed its public relations division.
In June, the initial lawsuit was submitted.
According to the revised complaint, shortly after that, the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, tweeted that he would “keep supporting Dogecoin” and claimed in an interview that “those that work near the factory at SpaceX or Tesla” requested him for that support.
Other new defendants include the Dogecoin Foundation, which calls itself a nonprofit providing governance and support for Dogecoin. It could not be reached right away for comment.
The anticipated $258 billion in damages is treble the market value decline of Dogecoin since May 2021.
Around that time, Musk dubbed Dogecoin “a hustle” while portraying a fake financial expert on an episode of “Saturday Night Live” on NBC.
On Wednesday, Dogecoin was trading at roughly 6 cents, down from about 74 cents in May 2021.
Johnson v. Musk et al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-05037, is the matter at hand.