Facebook Is Being Sued By Australian Billionaire For False Crypto Ads


Andrew Forrest, the iron ore mogul, announced on Thursday that he is bringing criminal charges against Meta’s Facebook in an Australian court. He claimed that Facebook violated anti-money laundering rules and that its platform is being used to defraud Australians.

Andrew Forrest is the richest man in Australia and chairman of the Fortescue Metals Group. He said he was taking the measure to prevent people from losing money to clickbait advertising frauds, such as those that use his picture to promote cryptocurrency schemes.

Facebook Is Facing Charges For Fake Crypto Ads

It claims that Facebook was criminally negligent in failing to make adequate efforts to prevent criminals from utilizing its social media platform to defraud Australian consumers.

The complaint follows Forrest’s claims that he made repeated requests to Facebook, including an open letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg in November 2019, requesting that his image not be used to promote investment ideas.

Facebook, which last year changed its name to Meta, declined to comment on the complaint but claimed that it has always taken a “multifaceted strategy” to prevent such advertising from appearing and has rejected advertisers.

Since March 2019, certain advertising on Meta has utilized Forrest’s photograph and claimed to offer cryptocurrency investment schemes.

A private prosecution of a foreign business for suspected violations under the Commonwealth Criminal Code needs the approval of the country’s attorney general.

A request for comment from Attorney General Michaelia Cash’s office was not immediately returned.

According to Lewis, if Facebook is found guilty, it faces a maximum penalty of AUD 126,000 (approximately Rs. 67.12 lakh) for each of the three counts.

Forrest stated that an initial hearing has been scheduled for March 28.

In September last year, Forrest filed a second legal complaint against Facebook in the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo.

In Australia, Meta has come under fire after originally opposing a new rule that forced it and Google to pay for connections to media firms’ content.