Larry David Expresses Regret Over FTX Ad Amid Founder’s Fraud Conviction
The popular actor and comedian Larry David has expressed remorse over participating in a high-profile 2022 Super Bowl commercial for the now-fallen cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
Notably, Sam Bankman Fried, the FTX founder, was imprisoned after he was found guilty of fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering last year.
Larry David Reflects on FTX Ad Regret
Speaking to The Associated Press at the Los Angeles premiere of the final season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” a series he created and stars in, David recounted seeking advice from knowledgeable friends before agreeing to the advertisement.
Despite assurances that it was legitimate, David now reflects on his decision with disappointment, highlighting his participation in the ad that humorously showcased him dismissing significant historical inventions, only to evaluate FTX as “the next big thing skeptically.”
The commercial was directed by Jeff Schaffer, a longtime colleague of David’s known for producing episodes of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm and creating The League. In a New York Times profile, Schaffer admitted to having no knowledge about cryptocurrency, further highlighting the unique and somewhat unfamiliar nature of the subject matter explored in the ad.
The commercial has led to a proposed class-action lawsuit, implicating David, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, and other celebrities like NFL quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bundchen for their roles in promoting FTX. The legal action accuses them of contributing to the financial losses of investors caught in the exchange’s abrupt downfall.
David, who revealed part of his compensation was in cryptocurrency, thus suffering personal financial losses, expressed his interest in joining the lawsuit. In April 2023, legal documents revealed that David and the other celebrities sought dismissal of the case, arguing they were not responsible for the investors’ losses.
SBF’s Conviction in Historic Fraud Case
Bankman-Fried was convicted on multiple charges related to one of the largest fraud cases in American history, with each of the seven counts of fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering potentially resulting in a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Additionally, he faced convictions for conspiracy to commit commodities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, each of which could add a maximum of five years to his sentence.
Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, emphasized the magnitude of Bankman-Fried’s actions during a news briefing after the verdict. Williams pointed out that while the cryptocurrency industry and its key players, including SBF, might represent a new frontier, the nature of the fraud and corruption he engaged in is a tale as old as time.
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