The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken further steps in its action against Hollywood actor and producer Steven Seagal.
Let’s recall that the regulator launched a lawsuit against Seagal in June 2021, alleging that he has failed to pay the full penalty imposed on him for unlawful initial coin offering (ICO) touting.
Today, Counsel for the SEC wrote to the New York Eastern District Court to request that the Court enter Judgment against Seagal. The SEC is seeking to convert a Commission order to a Judgment so that it can collect the outstanding disgorgement, prejudgment interest, penalties and accruing postjudgment interest of over $200,000 that Seagal owes.
Seagal has filed no opposition to the Order to Show Cause. The deadline to do so passed on August 6. The Court’s Order stated that “if Seagal fails to file answering papers and/or appear, the Court may find such party in default and enter an appropriate order against such party at such time without further notice being given.” Thus, Commission counsel requests that the Court enter the proposed Judgment.
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.
Thus far, Seagal has paid only $75,000 – the remainder is now delinquent and accruing interest daily.