Lil Yachty and Soulja Boy are among a group of famous faces who have been charged with illegally advertising cryptocurrency by the Securities and Exchange Commission. On Wednesday, the SEC filed the charges against the group of eight celebrities, which also includes musicians Ne-Yo and Akon, as well as Jake Paul, Lindsay Lohan, Austin Mahone, and Kendra Lust, with “illegally touting" crypto asset securities Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT) "without disclosing that they were compensated for doing so and the amount of their compensation.”
Despite not admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, each of the names mentioned by the SEC, except for Soulja Boy and Austin Mahone, has agreed to pay a total of over $400,000 in disgorgement, interest, and penalties to settle the charges.
The SEC filed the charges against the celebrities as part of a wider investigation into crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun and three of his companies: Tron Foundation Ltd, BitTorrent Foundation Ltd, and Rainberry Inc (formerly BitTorrent) for the unregistered offer and sale of the crypto asset securities TRX and BTT.
Sun is charged with inflating Tronix’s trading volume, violating federal securities laws in the process. He is then alleged to have hired the celebrities named by the SEC to advertise the assets to their social media followers while directing them to not disclose their compensation.
The FADER has reached out to representatives for Lil Yachty, Soulja Boy, Ne-Yo, and Akon for comment.