The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived: The SEC dropped the hammer on a pair of celebrities involved in promoting cryptocurrency. The only question has been who would fail to report earnings received from issuers of initial coin offerings, and the answer is DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Both men have agreed to pay hefty fines — more than $600,000 in the case of Mayweather Jr., and more than $150,000 for Khaled — after settling civil charges with the Securities Exchange Commission. Neither of them “admitted or denied guilt,” as NBC News reports, but they both agreed not to “promote any securities, digital, or otherwise” for multiple years.
According to The Daily Beast, “This is the first SEC case pursuing violations over coin offerings,” which makes Khaled and Mayweather Jr. a pair of alleged crime trailblazers. As Stephanie Avakian, the co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said in a statement today, “These cases highlight the importance of full disclosure to investors.” She added, “With no disclosure about the payments, Mayweather and Khaled’s ICO promotions may have appeared to be unbiased, rather than paid endorsements.” The founders of the primary company being investigated for fraud, the Miami-based ICO issuer Centra Tech Inc., were indicted in May by a federal grand jury in New York City on charges of “having solicited investors to buy unregulated securities,” reports NBC. Participating in a possible cryptocurrency scam was not part of Khaled’s major keys for success.