Sotheby’s was named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit filed in California last week alongside Yuga Labs, the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.

Bored Ape Yacht Club collectors sue Sotheby’s over NFTs auction Sotheby’s was named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit filed in California last week alongside Yuga Labs, the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. In the lawsuit, a group of investors claim they were misled about the NFTs, which feature colourful illustrated apes produced by an algorithm and peaked in value in late 2021. In September of that year, Sotheby’s sold 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs in an online auction for $24m against a $12m to $18m pre-sale estimate. The lawsuit claims Sotheby’s played a part to “deceptively promote the artificially inflated” value of the NFTs. Sotheby’s endorsement of the NFTs helped Yuga Labs gain a sense of legitimacy among traditional collectors, according to the lawsuit, while attracting a younger audience. After the sale Max Moore, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art auctions, allegedly said the NFTs had been purchased by a traditional collector, though the complaint filing claims the images were purchased by FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that has since crumbled. Stars like Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Jimmy Fallon, Madonna and even Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann, the digital artist behind the most valuable NFT ever sold at auction, were also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

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