SEC files charges against rapper T.I. for promoting fraudulent cryptocurrency offerings
Music artist T.I. is facing charges from the SEC and fined $75,000 for his involvement with fraudulent ICO offerings.
Mon, 14 Sep 2020, 15:02 pm UTC
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against the rapper T.I. for promoting fraudulent cryptocurrency offerings. The regulator also ordered the music artist to pay $75,000 as fine.
On Friday, the SEC announced that it filed charges against T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr, file producer Ryan Felton, and three other parties for their involvement in two fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICO), according to Bitcoin.com. The regulator also filed charges against Coinspark and Flik, two companies that conducted the sales.
In its filing, the SEC said that T.I. sold cryptocurrency using his Twitter account, according to FoxBusiness.com. He also encouraged his followers to make investments in the initial coin offering of the token FLiK in 2017.
The SEC said that T.I. also claimed falsely that he is a part-owner of FLiK and reportedly asked a celebrity friend to promote the token on the latter’s social media account. FLik’s initial coin offering was able to raise around 539M ETH, which was valued at about $164,665 as of Sept. 20, 2017.
“T.I. also asked a celebrity friend to promote the FLiK ICO on social media and provided the language for posts, referring to FLiK as T.I.'s 'new venture,'" the SEC said.
The agency slapped the rapper with a $75K fine and prohibited him from engaging in any ICO or cryptocurrency sale for the next five years. “The SEC’s order against T.I. requires him to pay a $75,000 civil monetary penalty and not participate in offerings or sales of digital-asset securities for at least five years,” the agency noted.
The rapper settled the $75K fine but did not admit or denied SEC’s findings. According to T.I.’s attorney, Henry E. Mazurek said that his client regretted his involvement with Felton, whom he “believed to be a local entrepreneur trying to make it easier for new artists to enter the music industry.” Mazurek also claimed that T.I. did not receive a dollar from Felton’s venture.
Felton promised to create a digital streaming platform for FLiK as well as a crypto trading platform for Coinspark, according to the SEC. However, both projects did not materialize as the film producer misappropriated the funds.
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