Steven Seagal is being charged after failing to disclose payments for promotional work.
The “Above The Law” actor was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission after promoting his investment in an initial coin offering (ICO) run by Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G).
Seagal did not make it known he was promised $250,000 in cash and $750,000 worth of B2G tokens for the promotion.
According to CNN, Seagal promoted the work on social media and had a press release sent out with the title, “Zen Master Steven Seagal Has Become the Brand Ambassador of Bitcoiin2Gen”.
Federal laws state that anyone who promotes “a virtual token or coin that is a security must disclose the nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion.”
“These investors were entitled to know about payments Seagal received or was promised to endorse this investment so they could decide whether he may be biased,” Kristina Littman, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit, said in a statement. “Celebrities are not allowed to use their social media influence to tout securities without appropriately disclosing their compensation.”
Seagal did not release a statement of his own, but did agree to pay the original amount he actually received of $157,000, plus more than $16,000 in interest, and another fine of $157,000.
The actor has also agreed to not promote securities for another three years.