Actor Steven Seagal has agreed to pay US$314,000 to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after being charged with “unlawfully touting” a cryptocurrency offering, the U.S. securities regulator said on Thursday.
Mr. Seagal agreed to give up US$157,000 in ill-gotten gains and to pay another US$157,000 as a penalty for failing to disclose payments he received for promoting an investment in an initial coin offering from Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G), the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement.
The Hollywood actor and martial arts expert became a “believer” in and “brand ambassador” for the coins, B2G said in a statement in February, 2018.
Mr. Seagal, who did not admit to any wrongdoing, failed to disclose that he was promised US$1-million in cash and B2G tokens in exchange for his endorsements. Those included posts on social media telling people not to “miss out” on the offering, the SEC said.
The SEC has previously said that celebrities and others using social media to encourage people to buy stocks and other investments may be unlawful if they don’t disclose details about compensation they receive for any endorsement.
In addition to the payments, Mr. Seagal has agreed not to promote any securities for three years.