Lil Yachty and Soulja Boy are among the celebrities charged after being accused of promoting crypto assets without disclosing that they were paid for it.
The action was taken after an ongoing investigation into the owner of a cryptocurrency company, Justin Sun, initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. It was discovered that eight celebrities illegally increased crypto assets without disclosing the payment.
“Although we are neutral about the technologies in question, we are not neutral at all when it comes to protecting investors,” said Gurbir S. Greval, director of the SEC’s enforcement Division. “According to the complaint, Sun and others used an old-fashioned method to mislead and harm investors by first offering securities without complying with registration and disclosure requirements, and then manipulating the market of these very securities.”
He went on to explain how the defendants misled fans: “Sun paid celebrities with millions of followers on social media to advertise unregistered offers, while specifically instructing them not to disclose their compensation. This is the very behavior that federal securities laws are designed to protect against.”
The eight celebrities charged include musicians DeAndre Cortez Way (Soulja Boy), Miles Parks McCollum (Lil Yachty), Austin Mahoney, Shaffer Smith (Ne-Yo) and Aliaun Thiam (Akon). Other famous faces include Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul and Michelle Mason (Kendra Last).
With the exception of Soulja Boy and Mahone, all the other celebrities settled the charges by agreeing to pay a total of more than $400,000 (£329,000) without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings.
In December last year, Taylor Swift was also going to participate in the world of cryptocurrencies, as it was reported that she was negotiating with the Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX. According to the Financial Times, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has reached the “late stage of negotiations” with Swift. However, before a deal worth more than $100 million (£820,550) could be confirmed, the company collapsed due to bankruptcy.
Elsewhere, back in November, Crypto fans came together to build a statue of Elon Musk.
This was achieved when the cryptocurrency company $EGT, which means Elon Goat Token, raised $600,000 (£501,796) to create a monument “in honor of [Musk’s] many achievements and commitment to cryptocurrency.” The final result showed that the head of the Tesla figurine with the body of the Doge is flying on a rocket.