More than two months after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) went after Hollywood actor and producer Steven Seagal accusing him of having failed to pay the full amount of a fine for unlawful initial coin offering touting, the regulator has won the case against the Hollywood actor and producer.
On August 27, 2021, Judge William F. Kuntz, II of the New York Eastern District Court entered a judgment in favor of the SEC against Steven Seagal. Mr Seagal will have to disgorge $157,000, plus prejudgment interest of $16,448. 76, such prejudgment interest continuing to accrue on funds owed until they are paid, and to pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $157,000 to the Commission.
Seagal will have to pay the penalties within 30 days. If he does not pay the above-mentioned amounts, the Commission may enforce the Judgment through the remedies available by Law to collect the unpaid balance.
Let’s recall that, in February 2020, the SEC announced settled charges against Steven Seagal for failing to disclose payments he received for promoting an investment in an initial coin offering (ICO) conducted by Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G).
The SEC’s order found that Seagal failed to disclose he was promised $250,000 in cash and $750,000 worth of B2G tokens in exchange for his promotions, which included posts on his public social media accounts encouraging the public not to “miss out” on Bitcoiin2Gen’s ICO and a press release titled “Zen Master Steven Seagal Has Become the Brand Ambassador of Bitcoiin2Gen.”
A Bitcoiin2Gen press release also included a quotation from Seagal stating that he endorsed the ICO “wholeheartedly.” These promotions came six months after the SEC’s 2017 DAO Report warning that coins sold in ICOs may be securities. The SEC has also advised that, in accordance with the anti-touting provisions of the federal securities laws, any celebrity or other individual 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.
Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Seagal agreed to pay $157,000 in disgorgement, which represents his actual promotional payments, plus prejudgment interest, and a $157,000 penalty. In addition, Seagal agreed not to promote any securities, digital or otherwise, for three years.
Seagal, however, has not paid the full penalty. The SEC explains that the installment plan required period payments over 330 days. Seagal has paid only $75,000 – the remainder is now delinquent and accruing interest daily.