Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that they were fining music executive/producer/Snapchat personality DJ Khaled for accepting undisclosed payments to promote a cryptocurrency scam. Preeminent professional boxer and accomplished amateur wife-beater Floyd Mayweather was also fined. Both will have to return the fees they received plus heavy punitive fines.
The two men didn’t admit guilt in the settlement, and Mayweather hasn’t even deleted one of his allegedly promotional tweets. But the action marks a new phase in the SEC’s work to clean up the crypto landscape. Most SEC efforts so far have involved the organizers of so-called Initial Coin Offerings, but the fines against Khaled and Mayweather were the first to go after ICO promoters under so-called “touting” rules, which restrict the paid promotion of securities without disclosure. Mayweather, who was paid $100,000 to promote an ICO called Centra Coin and another $100,000 to promote two other ICOs, will pay back those fees plus another $300,000 in penalties and $14,775 in interest. Khaled will repay his $50,000 fee from Centra plus a $100,000 penalty and $2,725 interest.