Actor Steven Seagal has settled a case with the Securities and Exchange Commission over promoting a cryptocurrency on social media.
An SEC order said Seagal, who agreed to pay £240,000 in disgorgement and penalties in a settlement, violated anti-touting provisions of federal securities laws during the very brief amount of time he spent as "brand ambassador" for the "Bitcoiin."
Seagal "failed to disclose he was promised $250,000 in cash and $750,000 worth of B2G tokens in exchange for his promotions," which included posts plugging Bitcoiin2Gen and its initial coin offering in 2018, the SEC says. "Bitcoiin" is not a typo.
These investors were entitled to know about payments Seagal received or was promised to endorse this investment"
"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," Kristina Littman, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division's Cyber Unit, said in a statement.
The SEC also noted that under anti-touting provisions of federal securities laws, "any celebrity or other individual who promotes a virtual token or coin that is a security must disclose the nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion."
At the time, Bitcoiin2Gen said that "Zen Master" Seagal was an obvious choice for the project.
He agreed to settle the SEC's allegations without admitting or denying wrongdoing, and will pay a $157,000fine and the same amount in disgorgement, the regulator said. He has also agreed not to promote any more securities for three years.
On March 7, 2018, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities issued a cease-and-desist order against BitCoiin2Gen, which said the firm is "fraudulently offering unregistered securities in violation of the Securities Law."
The faded actor, best known for fighting off bad guys with roundhouse kicks in movies, is currently residing in Moscow.