Lindsay Lohan, Ne-Yo and Jake Paul are among a number of stars who have been charged with cryptocurrency violations.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have filed fraud charges and unregistered securities charges against crypto founder Justin Sun, and they also announced charges relating to various issues against eight celebrity influencers, who are accused of collaborating with the Grenadian diplomat by promoting his Tronix and BitTorrent assets in ways which led investors to believe the TRX and BTT crypto coins had the potential for financial success and were being actively traded.
The other stars accused of taking part in fraud include musicians Akon, Soulja Boy, Lil Yachty and Austin Mahone, and adult film star Kendra Lust.
The SEC alleged Sun was "orchestrating a promotional campaign in which he and his celebrity promoters hid the fact that the celebrities were paid for their tweet."
Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement Gurbir Grewal said in a statement published to the organisation's website: "While we’re neutral about the technologies at issue, we’re anything but neutral when it comes to investor protection.
“As alleged in the complaint, Sun and others used an age-old playbook to mislead and harm investors by first offering securities without complying with registration and disclosure requirements and then manipulating the market for those very securities.
"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.”
While Austin and Soulja have yet to agree settlement terms, the six other influencers have agreed to pay a collective total of $400,000 in disgorgement and penalties.
The settlements are not seen as an admittance or denial of guilt.
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