Action movie star Steven Seagal has settled charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleging he failed to disclose that he was paid to promote an initial coin offering (ICO).
The SEC’s order found that Seagal violated anti-touting provisions of federal securities laws when he promoted an ICO by Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G) on his social media accounts and in a press release without revealing that he was promised US$250,000 in cash and US$750,000 in B2G tokens in exchange for the online hype.
Seagal settled the charges without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings.
In settling the case, Seagal agreed to disgorge US$157,000 — which was the actual amount he received from the company — and to pay a US$157,000 penalty. He also agreed not to promote any securities for three years.
“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,” Kristina Littman, chief of the SEC enforcement division’s cyber unit, said in a statement.
“Celebrities are not allowed to use their social media influence to tout securities without appropriately disclosing their compensation,” Littman said.