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Aussie billionaire sues Facebook over crypto scams with AG’s consent

Aussie billionaire sues Facebook over crypto scams with AG’s consent

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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 the Attorney-General Michaelia Cash.

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According to the filings, one Australian victim lost $952,000 AUD 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 news” and other unwanted internet material”. Forrest added that the company’s failure to remove the fraudulent ads was “criminally reckless.”

A spokeswoman for Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms, told The Australian that it is taking a “multifaceted approach to stop these ads” by detecting the ads, blocking the fraudulent advertisers, and in some cases, taking court action.

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However, Forrest believes that the social media giant should be doing more to prevent fraud from being spread on its platform. Because the scammers are mostly located overseas, Forrest says that they “can’t be easily tracked down.”

He added that “the best way to protect Australians is to deter Facebook — through a criminal prosecution — from allowing itself to be used as an instrument of crime.”

“Facebook has shown little appetite to self-regulate or take basic steps to protect Australians from the misuse of its platform by crooks and scammers, so I’ve been left with no other option than to take this action,” he said.

Twiggy Forrest has been fighting against these crypto scams for years now.

If found guilty by the Australian courts, Facebook could face fines and be compelled to change the way its advertising works.

The businessman also lodged a separate lawsuit with the Superior Court of California last September, seeking injunctive relief. The case is still pending, with the date of the civil case yet to be set.

In 2019, Forrest was among several Australian celebrities who were falsely quoted giving testimony for a fraudulent cryptocurrency, including Kate Winslet. One scam quoted the celebs in fake mainstream news articles advertising a fake Bitcoin investment platform.

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In 2020 the Australian Securities and Investments Commission issued a warning on fake celebrity-endorsed crypto ads, including Aussies like High Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Waleed Aly.

Other celebrities including Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Richard Branson have also had their image stolen to front crypto scams.

Forrest sent an open letter to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Nov 2019 requesting the platform to remove the fraudulent ads and prevent his image being used in the future.

As reported by Cointelegraph in Aug 2021, investment scams cost Australian investors more than $50.5 million in the first six months of 2021, with crypto scams contributing to more than 50% of the losses.

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Algorand Has Appointed JPMorgan high-flyer Staci Warden As Its New CEO.

Algorand appoints new CEO Staci Warden

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Warden has been a member of the Algorand Foundation Board since September 2021 following a glittering career with JPMorgan, the Nasdaq stock exchange, and the US Treasury Department.

Algorand is actively targeting ecosystem growth in niches such as global crypto payment platforms, DeFi and NFTs. It is hoped Warden’s appointment will catalyse this expansion.

Speaking on the ALGO appointment, Staci Warden highlighted opportunities in the developing world alongside a commitment to the future of DeFi.

“I am excited to build on everything the Foundation has achieved to date, and will be focused on scaling our commitment to our community and our global partners,” she said.

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“1.7 billion people in the world do not have access to finance, and the Algorand protocol has the speed, the security, and the decentralisation to address the problem of global financial inclusion at scale.

“By both ratcheting up our global ambitions as well as doubling down on our commitment to the DeFi ecosystem, I know that we will deliver tremendous value for both the Algorand ecosystem as a whole and the end-users it supports.”


The appointment of a new CEO marks an end to the leadership of outgoing Algorand CEO Sean Lee.

Lee served as CEO of the blockchain for 18 months and played a pivotal role in cementing Algorand’s market position throughout the sensational explosion in crypto markets in 2021.

During his time at the helm of Algorand, Lee prioritised community governance and sewed the seeds for the future of the ALGO ecosystem through the Accelerated Vesting program and launch of Viridis and Aeneas DeFi funding programs.

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Commenting on his departure, Lee revealed he will be moving on to other projects in the crypto industry.

“I’ve decided to leave the Algorand Foundation to pursue new opportunities in the blockchain space,” said Lee.

“Seeing the transformative potential of the applications being built on Algorand, now is the time for me to explore those avenues.

“I have deep confidence in Staci’s ability to lead the Algorand Foundation and the Algorand ecosystem through its next growth phase.”

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Manchester United selects Tezos as official blockchain partner

Manchester United selects Tezos as official blockchain partner

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Manchester United has today announced a landmark multi-year partnership that will see Tezos featured on the Club’s range of men’s and women’s training kits.

Tezos-branded training kit will be worn by the first team squad prior to this weekend’s match against Southampton, introducing Manchester United fans to the partnership and Web3 technology through the Tezos blockchain.

Victoria Timpson, Manchester United’s CEO of Alliances and Partnerships, said it was an exciting partnership for Manchester United “because it aligns us with one of the most advanced, reliable and sustainable blockchains in an area of technology which promises to truly revolutionise the way that everyone, including the club and our fans, can interact”.

“We are especially pleased to be partnering with one of the most eco-friendly blockchains, using technology that is energy-efficient, limits carbon emissions and lowers costs, consistent with the Club’s wider efforts to promote environmental sustainability,” she said.

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“Partnerships are at the core of our strength as a club, supporting the drive for success on the pitch, and we are delighted to welcome Tezos as the latest industry leader to join our family of partners.”

Edward Adlard, Head of Adoption and Business Development, Tezos Ecosystem added that, throughout its history, Manchester United had constantly evolved, with the support of its global community of fans and partners.

“Tezos will enable Manchester United to use blockchain and Web3 to transform fan, player, team, and partner engagement,” he said.

“The decision by the world’s greatest football club to select Tezos as its blockchain of choice is further validation that thoughtful design paired with strong security, low gas fees, and community-led innovation are the essential factors driving the next wave of adoption in the new digital revolution.”

In addition to the Tezos branding on the club’s training kit, the partnership will also include several new fan experiences built on the Tezos blockchain and a pledge to support Manchester United Foundation with ongoing donations in TEZ – the native currency of the Tezos blockchain – to train, educate and inspire young people within the local community.

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Shiba Inu Announces Virtual Real Estate on Shiberse Ecosystem

Shiba Inu Announces Virtual Real Estate on Shiberse Ecosystem

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In an attempt to enter the metaverse in 2022, the meme coin Shiba Inu has unfurled its virtual real estate ‘Shiba Lands’. The new realm of real estate will be available for public auction or purchase soon.

In this new venture, SHIB token holders can own a part of the Shiberse metaverse. Meanwhile, the meme coin has yet to confirm the advantages of owning the lands in its metaverse. So far, the project said that people owning land in Shiba Real Estate would gain a lot of benefits.

As tweeted by Watcher Guru, a media covering crypto news, Shiba Inu will declare the purchase period of virtual real estate soon.


To prevent high gas fees, which happened in the Shiboshi NFT launch 2021, the Shiberse ecosystem will create a queue system for its land release. The queue system can process the sale more smoothly and in a much fair manner for customers.

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LEASH coin holders will get priority access to the queue in the first period of land release. Afterward, the queue will be open to the public.

Shiba Inu has stated in its blog ShibaSwap:

This queue allows exclusivity by requiring interested parties to hold “$LEASH“, which gives priority and exclusive access to this first selling phase of the land plots in our Metaverse. In addition to the queue, we also have worked on an anti-dump system in order to protect $LEASH holders. The remaining lands will then unlock, and become available for the public after this exclusive selling process finalizes.

To highlight, the Shiba Land properties will initially be auctioned. Here, users can bid their land and location soon after the project announces the date of auction.

Earlier, virtual platforms like Decentraland, Gala Games, Sandbox, and Axie Infinity had fixed their position in the metaverse. Now, Shiberse has marked its growth in the metaverse which plows for more competition among other meta platforms.

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Despite being the latest entry to the metaverse, Shiba Inu has gained wide attention from investors who believe in its developing potential.

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