The Securities and Exchange Commissions charges against actor Steven Seagal has been reported as resolved. Seagal was charged for failing to disclose actual payments for promotional work he did for cryptocurrency company, Bitcoiin2Gen.
The company had contracted Seagal to promote investments for its initial coin offering (ICO). This included several social media posts by the actor as well as a press release declaring him the “Brand Ambassador” of Bitcoiin2Gen. In the same press release, Seagal issued a statement of how he “wholeheartedly” supports the ICO, as reported by CNN.
The actor was alerted by the SEC after failing to disclose that Bitcoiin2Gen had promised him $250,000 in cash as well as $750,000 worth of B2G tokens for the promotional work.
A 2017 DAO Report by the SEC warned that coins sold in ICOs may be qualified as securities. Thus, the anti-touting provisions of the federal securities laws declare that any celebrity or person that works to promote a virtual token, such as the one by Bitcoiin2Gen, must disclose the “nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion.” This was violated by Seagall.
Kristina Littman, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit, in a statement, 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.”
Seagal has made no comment regarding the matter but did agree to pay back $157,000 which is the amount he actually received, along with $16,000 in interest, and the fine of $157,000 as the government order declares. Additionally, he has agreed to cease promotion for any securities, digital or otherwise, for three years.