Cryptocurrencies: celebrities charged for promoting illegal scheme of digital assets | Finance | Economy

Regulatory authorities in the United States have filed charges against eight celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan and Jake Paul, for participating in an illegal cryptocurrency trading scheme.

Public figures used their social media to promote two digital currency merchants without disclosing that they were paid to generate publicity.

The charges were filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to a statement released Wednesday.

In the case of Lohan and Paul they have made a payment to have the charges dropped without admitting guilt.

The other celebrities (and their legal figures) charged are:

All are accused of illegally promoting the TRX and BTT firms “without disclosing that they were compensated for doing so and the amount of their compensation,” the SEC said.

All of the celebrities, plus Soulja Boy and Mahone, have collectively paid more than $400,000 to settle the charges.

Lohan, best known for her role in the 2004 film “Mean Girls,” had 8.4 million followers on Twitter when she posted a message asking her followers to invest.

The 36-year-old actress, who according to documents that show her is a resident of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, paid $10,000 to the SEC and another $30,000 in penalties.

Paul, who is a famous YouTuber, boxer, and resident of Puerto Rico, was ordered to pay more than $100,000.

Justin Sun, a cryptocurrency investor and diplomat from the Caribbean island nation of Grenada, is also accused of fraud by manipulating the business activity of two companies in a scheme dubbed “wash trading” to inflate prices.

Sun, who was born in China and is a protégé of Alibaba founder Jack Ma, is known for having paid $4.6 million to have dinner with investor Warren Buffett.

He is accused of “orchestrating a promotional campaign in which he and his celebrity promoters concealed the fact that celebrities were paid for their tweet,” the SEC added in its press release.

His companies, Tron Foundation Limited, BitTorrent Foundation Ltd. and Rainberry Inc. (formerly BitTorrent), are also part of the scheme.

“This case again demonstrates the high risk investors face when crypto asset securities are offered and sold without proper disclosure,” said SEC Chairman Gary Gensler.

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