US SEC fines actor Steven Seagal with $350,000 for unlawful ICO participation

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on Feb 28, 2020
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
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  • Well-known Hollywood actor, Steven Seagal, was charged by the US SEC for unlawful ICO participation.
  • Seagal was charged with over $350,000 for not disclosing all aspects of the project and his role within it.
  • Seagal's conflict with the regulator was only disclosed recently, although the actor has been negotiating with the SEC for over two years, now.

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The potential introduced by cryptocurrencies attracted millions around the world to the crypto industry. However, sometimes, those who felt the attraction are major, influential celebrities. Over the years, many famous names were tied to the crypto sphere, including actors, singers, and many others.

Unfortunately, their involvement with digital currencies sometimes has a negative outcome, which is what happened to a famous actor Steven Seagal, who was recently charged for unlawfully participating in an ICO by the US SEC. The actor received a $350,000-large fine for violating the anti-touting law, which he ultimately agreed to pay.

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The SEC’s fight against ICOs continues

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The ICO trend exploded in 2017 and 2018 after BTC led a massive price surge that finally brought cryptocurrencies to the attention of the world. However, among the authorities, the trend caused a lot of concerns, especially among the regulators.

The SEC quickly took the charge, proclaiming that the majority of coins offered in ICOs are securities and unlawful ones at that since they are not registered and not compliant with securities laws. The SEC has spent the past 3 years hunting down various ICOs, reviewing their cases, and charging major fines to their ringleaders, promoters, and others.

This often involved influential individuals who participated in spreading awareness of these ICOs, and a document disclosed yesterday named Steven Seagal as one of them. The famous Hollywood actor promoted an ICO conducted by Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G), which he advertised on his public social media accounts.

At the time of the ICO, the project even branded him its main ambassador. Ties to the actor allowed the project to raise a million dollars, $250,000 in cash, and the rest in their native crypto, after completing the sale. However, the SEC charged Seagal for not disclosing the payments, and after 2 years of going back and forth, the actor agreed to pay $157,000 in disgorgement, another $157,000 penalty, as well as an undisclosed amount of prejudgment interest.

The commission said that individuals — and particularly celebrities — need to be transparent about the projects, and disclose their scope, nature, and amount of compensation that they received for promoting crypto projects.

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