The US rapper T.I was fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission for his involvement in fraudulent ICOs as we are reading more today in our latest crypto news.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has fined the US rapper T.I, Clirfford Harris Jr, along with other people involved in two fraudulent initial coin offering projects. According to a press release by the SEC, T.I along with Ryan Felton, a businessman, and three other individuals based in Atlanta were involved in a fake pump and dump ICO scheme. Back in March, however, the rapper was cleared of the charges.
Back in 2018, investors sued the rapper and Felton after they failed to provide them with rewards for the investments. The FLIK token that was created in 2017, started with six cents when the price hoped to increase by almost $15 in a little over a year. T.I promoted the fLIK token across social media accounts and urged his followers to invest. The rapper claimed to be a token holder while his social media manager Willam Sparks, as well as Chance White and Owen Smith, promoted the token.
Everything went downhill when the token value crashed which led the investors to lose money. The court initially dismissed the securities fraud claims as well as other charges against the rapper but the SEC publication showed that T.I will have to pay a civil penalty of $75,000 and he cannot participate in offerings or sale of crypto-asset securities for at least five years.
In the meantime, the charges against Felton include, registration violating, antifraud, and manipulation. Felton is the one who controls FLik and the CoinSpark crypto platform. He spent the funds from the ICO and lived a luxurious lifestyle by buying expensive homes, cars, and other luxury items. While he is also facing criminal charges, T.I’s social media manager has to pay $25,000 along with Smith and Chance and they will also not participate in any digital securities sale in the next 5 years.
There were different cases in the past where celebrities promoted ICOs which turned out to be a pump and dump scheme. The popular case was CentraTech involving former boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and Dj Khaled. After the promotion of CentraTech’s ICO, both celebrities had to pay a fine of $800,000. They were also banned from promoting digital securities for two and three years respectively. The SEC also fined Steven Seagal back in February, with $350,000 following the violation of anti-touting law. The actor promoted Bitcoiin2Gen’s ICO during the ICO bubble across his social media account.
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