Dogecoin (DOGE-USD) investor Keith Johnson has sued Elon Musk for $258B over allegations that the Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO has been running a pyramid scheme to prop up the price of the popular memecoin, Reuters reported Friday, citing Johnson's complaint filed in federal court on June 16.
Recall dogecoin (DOGE-USD), a crypto designed purely as a joke, surged to a record peak of $0.64 in May 2021 from near zero at the beginning of last year amid the broader crypto frenzy that took place at the time. Musk, who has 98.5M followers on Twitter, took over headlines during much of the doge boom, as his tweets almost immediately impacted the price of doge one way or another. Since its peak, doge has cratered ~90% to six cents as investors shy away from riskier assets.
"Defendants were aware since 2019 that Dogecoin had no value yet promoted Dogecoin to profit from its trading," the complaint said, the plaintiffs' complaint said, as quoted by Reuters. "Musk used his pedestal as World's Richest man to operate and manipulate the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme for profit, exposure and amusement."
The case was filed as Johnson v. Musk et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-05037, as per Reuters.