The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged prominent crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun over an alleged fraud scheme involving cryptocurrency tokens Tronix and BitTorrent on Wednesday.
Eight prominent celebrities were also charged for allegedly promoting the crypto brands without disclosing that they were paid to do so:
- Actress Lindsay Lohan
- Internet personality Jake Paul
- Rapper Soulja Boy
- Singer Austin Mahone
- Porn actress Kendra Lust
- Rapper Lil Yachty
- Singer Ne-Yo
- Rapper Akon
All of the celebs, except for Soulja Boy and Mahone, agreed to pay a total of over $400,000 to settle the charges, without admitting or denying their guilt, according to the SEC.
Sun was also charged over the alleged unregistered offer and sale of TRX and BTT tokens. The price of both tanked following the news of the SEC charges Wednesday.
Regulators also accused Sun of manipulating the market to make it appear as if trading on the tokens was more active than it was.
“Sun further induced investors to purchase TRX and BTT by orchestrating a promotional campaign in which he and his celebrity promoters hid the fact that the celebrities were paid for their tweets,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement.
Sun is also Grenada’s permanent representative to the World Trade Organization in Geneva. He founded the crypto platform Tron in 2014.