US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it had settled charges against Hollywood Icon Steven Seagal for failing to disclose promotional work revenue. SEC said in a Thursday Press Release how the actor failed to disclose being promised $250,000 cash and at least $750,000 worth of B2G tokens. This would be after promoting investment in an ICO (Initial coin offering) that Bitcoin2Gen (B2G) had organized.
Zen Master Steven Seagal Has Become the Brand Ambassador of Bitcoin 2Gen
Meanwhile, the promotional work included a series of social posts motivating the general public to invest in the ICO. In addition to a press release entitled, “Zen Master Steven Seagal Has Become the Brand Ambassador of Bitcoin 2Gen”.
The press release noted that Seagal had fully endorsed the Initial Coin Offering. Nonetheless, the promotion comes only six months following SEC’s DAO Report in 2017, which warned ICO coins could be securities. According to the federal security laws against touting, public figures and celebrities that promote digital coins that are securities must disclose the scope, nature and compensation amount from the exchange to carry on the promotion.
SEC and Anti-touting laws
The Chief of SEC enforcement Division Kristina Littman claimed investors would easily determine Seagal’s bias, had they known the value of Seagal’s endorsement. She said,
“Celebrities can’t use their social media influence to tout securities; without appropriately disclosing their compensation.”
Therefore, the provisions for anti-touting found the actor had violated federal securities laws. However, Seagal neither denied nor admitted SEC’s finding but he agreed to pay back $157,000. This was his payment, in addition to another $16,000 in interest plus a government fine of $157,000. The actor agreed he wouldn’t promote any digital offerings or securities for at least three years.