American actor Steven Seagal has settled charges with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly failing to disclose the amount of money he was paid to promote an investment that involves Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G), a self-sustaining cryptocurrency that claims to be more specific than Bitcoin.
According to the SEC’s order, Seagal promoted investment in an initial coin offering (ICO) conducted by B2G. He was promised a total of one million USD, $750,000 worth of B2G tokens, and about $250,000 in exchange for his advertisement.
The actor took to his public social media accounts to lure people not to “miss out” on Bitcoiin2Gen’s ICO. He also went as far as publishing a press release that showed he became the brand ambassador of Bitcoiin2Gen.
SEC penalized Seagal for violating the anti-touting provisions of the federal securities laws. The law requires celebrities or any other individual that promotes any security token or coin to disclose the scope, nature, scope, and payment they received for the service.
Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit, Kristina Littman, added that “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.”
Besides, the promotions were conducted six months after the SEC released the 2017 DAO Report, which warned that coins issued through ICOs might be securities.
To this extent, the actor agreed to pay $157,000 in disgorgement without admitting or denying the findings by the commission. The fine, according to SEC, represents his actual promotional payments, including prejudgment interest, and a $157,000 penalty.
Seagal also consented not to advertise any securities for three years. The development today shows that the U.S SEC is close enough in monitoring entities and individuals that may violate the federal securities law.