Amidst the buzz over a potential Twitter takeover, Elon Musk along with his companies Tesla and Space X, on Thursday, was slapped with a lawsuit worth $258 billion for alleged involvement in a cryptocurrency scheme. The complaint was filed by Keith Johnson in the federal court of Manhattan, who accused Musk of running a "pyramid scheme" that reportedly drew up the prices of cryptocurrency, Dogecoin. Musk (who is the CEO of both Tesla Inc. and Space X) is accused of "manipulating" the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme for "profit, exposure, and amusement," the plaintiff said in his complaint.
The lawsuit comes at a time when the value of Dogecoin has been on a free fall, reaching $0.57 per coin on Thursday after it traded at $0.64 per coin in May. However, Dogecoin was launched at a value of $.0002 in 2013. Keith in his complaint claimed that Musk promoted Dogecoin despite being aware that it "had no value."
Johnson is seeking $86 billion in loss and wants it tripled given the decline in the price of Dogecoin since May 2021. He also appealed for the federal judge to ban Musk and his companies from endorsing Dogecoin. He further demanded Dogecoin trading be declared "gambling" under federal and New York law.
Musk has continued to support Dogecoin since the end of 2020. In early February 2021, he tweeted: "I will literally pay an actual dollar to people who void their Dogecoin accounts." Later, the avid Twitter user posted, "Doge will live forever." Musk's tweets prompted US Securities Exchange Commission to launch an investigation into Musk in 2021. He has once also admitted that he accepted Dogecoin as payment for vehicles.
Musk has recently been a cynosure of conversation due to his Twitter bid. His latest gaffe, however, enraged employees of his own company who expressed strong discontent over his social behaviour. According to The Verge, some of the Space X employees penned a letter, which included allegations of sexual harassment against Musk.
To maintain anonymity, the letter states that it was written by employees "across the spectra of gender, ethnicity, seniority, and technical roles". The employees have complained that their CEO Elon Musk's public behaviour has been a "source of distraction and embarrassment" and further stated that as the face of SpaceX, his tweets are automatically assumed to be a statement by the company. "It is critical to make clear to our teams and our potential talent pool that his messaging does not reflect our work, our mission, or our values", the letter reads.
This comes after Musk tweeted a picture of Bill Gates alongside a pregnant woman. He also engaged in a tiff with US Senator Bernie Sanders, who raised the issue of non-tax payments by billionaires. Musk said he "keeps forgetting" that Sanders is still alive. The multi-billionaire also mocked Amazon's Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos for the mission failures of his space tourism company, Blue Origin.