Elon Musk Attempts to Quash $258 Billion Dogecoin Litigation


NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters) – Elon Musk has appealed to a US judge to terminate a lawsuit worth $258 billion alleging that he was involved in a racket to promote the cryptocurrency Dogecoin.

In a filing in Manhattan federal court on Friday night, lawyers for Musk and his electric car company Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) branded the lawsuit by Dogecoin investors as “fanciful fiction” and described Musk’s “innocuous and often silly tweets” about Dogecoin.

“There is nothing unlawful about tweeting words of support for, or humorous pictures about, a legitimate cryptocurrency that continues to hold a market cap of nearly $10 billion,” Musk’s lawyers said. “This court should put a stop to plaintiffs’ fantasy and dismiss the complaint.”

As a footnote, the lawyers also denied that Dogecoin qualified as a security.

“We are more confident than ever that our case will be successful,” said Evan Spencer, the investors’ lawyer, in an email.

The investors accuse Musk, according to Forbes the second-richest person on the planet, of intentionally driving up Dogecoin’s value by more than 36,000% in two years and then watching it crash, generating billions of dollars of profit for himself at the expense of Dogecoin investors, even though the currency had no intrinsic value.

They also note Musk’s appearance on the “Weekend Update” segment of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” where he referred to Dogecoin as a “hustle.”

The $258 billion in damages sought is more than three times the estimated fall in Dogecoin’s market value during the 13 months prior to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit is also being brought against the Dogecoin Foundation, a non-profit organization.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Musk over his alleged ownership of the cryptocurrency due to his posts on Twitter.

He won a court victory on Feb. 3 in San Francisco, when a jury found him not guilty of tweeting in August 2018 that he had arranged financing to take Tesla private.

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