Breaking: SEC Charges Floyd Mayweather, DJ Khaled with Illegally Promoting ICOs

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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and recording artist DJ Khaled with illegally promoting initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The two celebrities, as CCN reported, had been among the most prolific ICO promoters, pumping crypto tokens on social media while sometimes failing to disclose that the posts — which in several cases promoted illegal securities offerings — were paid-for advertisements.

The two celebrities each agreed to pay disgorgement, penalties, and interest to the SEC, though neither formally admitted to or denied the findings. Moreover, Mayweather and Khaled agreed to refrain from promoting securities for three years and two years, respectively.

“Investors should be skeptical of investment advice posted to social media platforms, and should not make decisions based on celebrity endorsements,” said Enforcement Division Co-Director Steven Peikin. “Social media influencers are often paid promoters, not investment professionals, and the securities they’re touting, regardless of whether they are issued using traditional certificates or on the blockchain, could be frauds.”

Mayweather and Khaled have also been named in a lawsuit over their involvement in promoting the Centra Tech ICO, which a judge ruled was an illegal securities offering and whose founders the SEC has charged with fraud.

This story is developing…Stay tuned for continuing coverage from CCN.

Floyd Mayweather image from Shutterstock

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Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.