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SEC charges eight celebrities in connection with cryptocurrency promotions

Among those facing charges are Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Ne-Yo, Lil Yachty, Soulja Boy, Austin Mahone, Akon, and Kendra Lust.

Published: March 22, 2023 8:30pm

Updated: March 22, 2023 8:55pm

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged eight celebrities with securities law violations in connection with their promotion of cryptocurrencies.

The SEC announced the charges on Wednesday, which stemmed from an investigation of Justin Sun's companies Tron Foundation Limited, BitTorrent Foundation Ltd., and Rainberry Inc., according to Variety. Those companies promoted crypto securities BitTorrent (BTT) and Tronix (TRX).

The eight facing charges are Lindsay Lohan, Ne-Yo, Lil Yachty, Soulja Boy, Jake Paul, Austin Mahone, Akon, and Kendra Lust.

All face allegations of promoting BTT or TRX without disclosing their receipt of payment to do so. Sun allegedly told the eight public figures not to disclose that they had been paid. Lohan, for her part, has denied knowledge of any disclosure requirement and agreed to pay a fine, per the outlet.

SEC chair Gary Gensler said "[t]his case demonstrates again the high risk investors face when crypto asset securities are offered and sold without proper disclosure."

News of the charges comes amid a class action suit against YouTubers Graham Stephan, Andrei Jikh, Jaspreet Singh, Brian Jung, Jeremy Lefebvre, Tom Nash, Ben Armstrong, and Kevin Paffrath for allegedly promoting the cryptocurrency FTX without disclosing their own receipt of payment.

In that case, former FTX customers seek $1 billion, alleging that the YouTubers' promotions helped propel the cryptocurrency to values it would not have reached on its own.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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