LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Actress Lindsay Lohan, influencer Jake Paul, rapper Lil Yachty, and other celebrities will pay tens of thousands to settle claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that they illegally touted cryptocurrencies and violated security laws. Others are adult film star Kendra Lust, and singer-songwriters Ne-Yo and Akon, a news release said.
The SEC is charging the celebrities because they didn’t disclose that they were paid for their endorsements of Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT), cryptocurrencies created by entrepreneur Justin Sun. None admitted or denied the SEC’s findings as part of the settlement. Rapper Soulja Boy and singer-songwriter Austin Mahone are similarly charged, but did not reach a settlement with the SEC, the agency said.
In response to a request for comment, Lohan’s publicist Leslie Sloane said the actress was contacted in March 2022, was unaware of the disclosure requirement, and agreed to pay a fine to resolve the matter. Lohan, who last week announced she is pregnant, was called to give up the $10,000 she was paid, plus interest, and pay a $30,000 fine, according to an SEC complaint.
A spokeswoman for Paul declined to comment. Emails left with representatives for the other celebrities named in the SEC complaint weren’t immediately returned Wednesday.
Sun was also charged with “fraudulently manipulating the secondary market for TRX through extensive wash trading, which involves the simultaneous or near-simultaneous purchase and sale of a security to make it appear actively traded without an actual change in beneficial ownership, and for orchestrating a scheme to pay celebrities to tout TRX and BTT without disclosing their compensation.”
The SEC claims Sun and his companies targeted investors and generated millions in illegal proceeds. “This case demonstrates again the high-risk investors face when crypto asset securities are offered and sold without proper disclosure,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler in a statement.
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. In 2020, actor Steven Seagal agreed to pay more than $300,000 as part of a similar settlement with the SEC, which also banned him from promoting investments for three years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.