Actress Lindsay Lohan, YouTuber Jake Paul, rapper Lil Yachty, musicians Ne-Yo, Austin Mahone, Soulja Boy, and several other celebrities have been slapped with charges from the Security and Exchange Committee (SEC) over their undisclosed payments to promote cryptocurrency security. The parties involved stand accused of violating investor protection laws, specifically for their promotion of crypto assets TRX and BTT.
The parties involved were collectively paid $400,000 to promote the services, and the celebrities never disclosed their compensation publicly when posting the advertisements. TRX and BTT are sold by Tron Foundation Limited, Bit Torrent Foundation Limited, and Rainberry Inc, which are all run by CEO Justin Sun. Today’s charges filed against the celebrities involved are part of a larger federal lawsuit against Sun regarding his business practices.
The SEC maintains that cryptocurrency is a form of security, and thus ought to be regulated by the federal government. The organization has previously brought charges upon multiple other celebrities for their involvement in similar flawed crypto deals, including Kim Kardashian, DJ Khaled, Floyd Mayweather and more.
Lohan opted to pay out her fine for her involvement in the alleged crypto scheme, which includes the $10,000 she was paid for a promotional tweet and the SEC civil monetary fine of $30,000. She has not confirmed nor denied her role in the crypto scheme, opting to settle privately without taking it to court. Paul owes a larger fine of $75,057, and must also relinquish the $25,019 he earned from a 2021 Tweet that promoted the service.
Both investors in crypto and fans of the artists and media personalities involved took to Twitter to theorize about what this could mean for the cryptocurrency industry. The virtual business went relatively unregulated for several years since the industry’s inception in 2009, and with the SEC’s newfound involvement in cybersecurity, things are likely to change.
Some were surprised at Lindsay Lohan’s involvement in the scandal. The actress recently made a return to the big screen after a long hiatus in which she was vocal about overcoming her addiction. Lohan married financier Bader Shammas in 2022, and the couple reside primarily in Dubai, UAE.
Good luck finding Lindsay Lohan ???????????? pic.twitter.com/YRqc7Zq5ku
— a nap plz (@808nobody) March 22, 2023
Others were surprised at the seemingly odd pairing of the celebrities involved in the incident, as they all come from different fields of entertainment and have never collaborated together on other projects.
???????????? Crypto, Lindsay and Jake. What a combo! pic.twitter.com/1sZ9eS9ih6
— Marcio Delgado (@marcio_delgado) March 22, 2023
None of the parties involved have issued statements at this time, including the center of the larger lawsuit, Justin Sun. Sun is a 32-year-old Chinese citizen who entered the crypto field in 2017. He holds business degrees from Peking University, Hupan University, and the University of Pennsylvania.