The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused the 67-year-old actor Steven Seagal of promoting an initial coin offering (ICO) run by Bitcoiin2Gen without unveiling the amounts he received.
The market watchdog has fined the actor with $314,000 for violating the federal securities law.
In addition, the actor was banned from promoting any cryptocurrency for three years.
Kristina Littman, chief of the Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit at SEC, said:
“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.”
“Celebrities are not allowed to use their social media influence to tout securities without appropriately disclosing their compensation,” he added.
However, Seagal did not admit nor deny the regulator’s charges as part of the settlement.
The regulator said the investigations are still proceeding.
SEC intensifies crackdown on defrauding
The case is the latest in the SEC’s crackdown on unregistered cryptocurrency transactions, which are subject to the same regulations as ordinary securities.
In 2018, boxer Floyd Mayweather and rapper Khaled Khaled have settled SEC charges related to promoting cryptocurrencies at a total of nearly $615,000 and $153,000 respectively.
At that time, the SEC said it was the first time to sue individuals for touting initial currency offers.
The agency focuses on ICOs and cryptocurrencies as interest in the crypto space has risen among both individual and institutional investors.
Earlier, Cryptolydian reported that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has collaborated with the US market regulator SEC to outline regulations governing the crypto industry.
The move indicates that the regulators have put the crypto among their priorities. They seek to educate market participants about the potential risks that would face them.
ESMA Chairman Steven Maijoor said:
“ESMA can look back on a successful first nine years that has included the development of the Single Rulebook and establishing itself as a credible supervisor of CRAs and TRs.”