Australian Prosecutors Dismiss Billionaire’s Lawsuit Against Meta Over Crypto Scam Ads

Australian Prosecutors Dismiss Billionaire’s Lawsuit Against Meta Over Crypto Scam Ads

Australian prosecutors have reportedly dropped Andrew Forrest’s lawsuit against technology giant Meta over the appearance of crypto scam advertisements with his face on Facebook. This development comes as a blow to the Australian billionaire, who is hell-bent on ensuring Meta is held responsible for allegedly allowing bad actors to promote crypto scams using his image.

Australian Authorities Throw Out Forrest’s Case Due To Insufficient Evidence

In February 2022, Andrew Forrest launched his first lawsuit against Meta, claiming the Silicon Valley-based company had failed to stop scam ads on Facebook from using his image and name. With approval from the Commonwealth Attorney-General Michaelia Cash, Forrest, who also ranks as Australia’s second richest man, was able to file criminal charges against the technology corporation as a private individual.

The mining tycoon, who owns 37% of Fortescue Metals Group, claimed that Meta had committed three offenses against Australia’s anti-money laundering laws as they did not implement the required measures against criminals using his face to advertise crypto scams to defraud unsuspecting Australian users. 

However, according to a recent report by Reuters, Australian prosecutors have now withdrawn Forrest’s lawsuit against the social media enterprise, citing a lack of credible evidence to maintain pursuit of the criminal charges in question. This decision was revealed by a spokesman for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on Friday.

Commenting on this development, Andrew Forrest has expressed much disappointment, describing the dismissal of the case as a “tragedy” for the innocent victims who had been defrauded of their hard-earned money by these crypto schemes. On the other hand, Meta stated that the fight against online scams is “complex” but reiterated its commitment against this menace in a bid to continually protect its users.

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Andrew Forrest Maintains Charge Against Meta Following Setback

Despite the Australian authorities closing this case, Andrew Forrest remains steadfast in his prosecution of Meta as he has a separate lawsuit against the tech giant in California addressing the same issues.

Although Meta has since petitioned against this case claiming that US laws cannot hold online platforms responsible for their usage by customers or third parties, Forrest claims such laws are effective only within the US borders. The Australian billionaire remains resolute in purchasing this alternative case in the US, stating that over 1000 crypto scam ads have been found on Facebook between April 2023 to November 2023.

Generally, crypto scams remain a notorious problem in the digital asset industry. According to data from security firm Immunefi, $14.67 million was lost to frauds and scams in Q1 2024. Such figures highlight the need for continuous and necessary development of more innovative and effective blockchain security measures.

Andrew ForrestTotal crypto market valued at $2.348 trillion on the daily chart | Source: TOTAL chart on Tradiingview.com

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