SEC Charges Several High-Profile Celebrities In Alleged Crypto Scheme

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The Security and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday that several high profile individuals were charged in connection to alleged crypto disclosures alongside crypto founder Justin Sun.

The SEC announced the slate of charges in a statement, claiming that eight celebrities will be held accountable by the commission for allegedly “illegally touting” Tronix and/or BitTorrent, TIME reported. The SEC claims that the celebrities did not reveal that they received financial compensation, nor did they reveal the amount of their compensation for their endorsements.

The SEC claims that the celebrities involved with the alleged scheme are Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Soulja Boy, Austin Mahone, Michele Mason, Lil Yachty, Ne-Yo, and Akon, ABC News reported. (RELATED: Kim Kardashian Pays SEC $1.26 Million Over Crypto Promotion)

All individuals except Mahone and Soulja Boy reached an agreement with the SEC for “more than $400,000 combined in disgorgement, interest and penalties to settle the claims,” without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, according to the SEC, ABC reported.

“Although the celebrities were paid to promote TRX and BTT, their touts on social media did not disclose that they had been paid or the amounts of their payments,” the SEC said in a complaint, NBC 15 reported. “Thus, the public was misled into believing that these celebrities had unbiased interest in TRX and BTT, and were not merely paid spokespersons.”

“At the same time, Sun paid celebrities with millions of social media followers to tout the unregistered offerings, while specifically directing that they not disclose their compensation. This is the very conduct that the federal securities laws were designed to protect against regardless of the labels Sun and others used,” SEC enforcement chief Gurbir Grewal said, Yahoo reported.