NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters) – Elon Musk requested a U.S. choose on Friday to throw out a $258 billion racketeering lawsuit accusing him of working a pyramid scheme to help the cryptocurrency Dogecoin.

In a night submitting in Manhattan federal court docket, legal professionals for Musk and his electrical automobile firm Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) referred to as the lawsuit by Dogecoin traders a “fanciful work of fiction” over Musk’s “innocuous and infrequently foolish tweets” about Dogecoin.

The legal professionals mentioned the traders by no means defined how Musk supposed to defraud anybody or what dangers he hid, and that his statements comparable to “Dogecoin Rulz” and “no highs, no lows, solely Doge” had been too imprecise to help a fraud declare.

“There may be nothing illegal about tweeting phrases of help for, or humorous footage about, a reputable cryptocurrency that continues to carry a market cap of almost $10 billion,” Musk’s legal professionals mentioned. “This court docket ought to put a cease to plaintiffs’ fantasy and dismiss the criticism.”

In a footnote, the legal professionals additionally rejected the traders’ declare that Dogecoin certified as a safety.

The traders’ lawyer, Evan Spencer, mentioned in an e mail: “We’re extra assured than ever that our case can be profitable.”

Buyers accused Musk, the world’s second-richest particular person in response to Forbes, of intentionally driving up Dogecoin’s value greater than 36,000% over two years after which letting it crash.

They mentioned this generated billions of {dollars} of revenue at different Dogecoin traders’ expense, whilst Musk knew the foreign money lacked intrinsic worth.

Buyers additionally pointed to Musk’s look on a “Weekend Replace” phase of NBC’s “Saturday Night time Dwell” the place, portraying a fictitious monetary skilled, he referred to as Dogecoin “a hustle.”

The $258 billion damages determine is triple the estimated decline in Dogecoin’s market worth within the 13 months earlier than the lawsuit was filed.

Dogecoin Basis, a nonprofit, can be a defendant and searching for the lawsuit’s dismissal.

Musk’s posts on Twitter, which he owns, have prompted a number of lawsuits.

He gained a court docket victory on Feb. 3 when a San Francisco jury discovered him not responsible for tweeting in August 2018 that he had organized financing to take Tesla non-public.

The case is Johnson et al v. Musk et al, U.S. District Courtroom, Southern District of New York, No. 22-05037.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Enhancing by William Mallard

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.