When it comes to celebrities shilling shady initial coin offerings for money, the Securities and Exchange Commission is out for justice.
Actor Steven Seagal found himself on deadly ground on Thursday following an SEC charge that, back in 2018, he failed to disclose he was being paid to promote an ICO for a token by the name of Bitcoiin2Gen. While not admitting any fault, it appears Seagal made the executive decision to fork over $314,000 in fines and penalties levied by the government.
"These investors were entitled to know about payments Seagal received or was promised to endorse this investment so they could decide whether he may be biased," noted Kristina Littman, chief of the SEC enforcement division’s cyber unit and obvious fan of urban justice, in a press release. "Celebrities are not allowed to use their social media influence to tout securities without appropriately disclosing their compensation."
Notably, other celebrities who promoted cryptocurrencies or initial coin offerings on social media without disclosing they were being paid to do so have found themselves under siege, too. In 2018, professional boxer Floyd Mayweather and music producer DJ Khaled woke up to a black dawn of hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties for engaging in much of the same behavior as Seagal.
Speaking of which, Seagal was for a brief time fully submerged in the world of Bitcoiin2Gen — acting as the token's brand ambassador.
"[Seagal] believes that what he does in his life is about leading people into contemplation to wake them up and enlighten them in some manner," read a 2018 Bitcoiin2Gen press release announcing the partnership with Seagal. "These are precisely the objectives of the Bitcoiin2Gen to empower the community by providing a decentralized P2P payment system with its own wallet, mining ecosystem and robust blockchain platform without the need of any third party."
Today's SEC settlement makes clear, however, that this relationship was marked for death from the start.
Actor Steven Seagal found himself on deadly ground on […]