Lindsey Lohan, Jake Paul and rapper Lil Yachty are among the eight celebrities who have been hit with charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission for illegally touting cryptocurrencies and violating security laws, the commission announced Wednesday.
Other celebrities charged include rapper Soulja Boy, Austin Mahone, Ne-Yo, Akon and adult film star Kendra Lust, a news release said.
The commission hit multiple celebrities with charges since they didn’t disclose that they were paid for their endorsements of Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT), cryptocurrencies created by entrepreneur Justin Sun.
Sun was also hit with multiple charges from the commission.
“This case demonstrates again the high-risk investors face when crypto asset securities are offered and sold without proper disclosure,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement.
“As alleged, Sun and his companies not only targeted U.S. investors in their unregistered offers and sales, generating millions in illegal proceeds at the expense of investors, but they also coordinated wash trading on an unregistered trading platform to create the misleading appearance of active trading in TRX. Sun further induced investors to purchase TRX and BTT by orchestrating a promotional campaign in which he and his celebrity promoters hid the fact that the celebrities were paid for their tweets.”
All the celebrities charged, excluding Mahone and Soulja Boy, have paid more than $400,000 to settle the charges without admitting wrongdoing.
Other celebrities, like Kim Kardashian, paid over $1 million to settle SEC charges, while former football player Tom Brady and comedian Larry David were named in a class-action lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange FTX.