Paul Pierce has agreed to pay $1.4M to settle with the SEC.
NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce has agreed to settle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for $1.4 million for “touting” EthereumMax (EMAX) tokens. According to an announcement yesterday, the SEC said Pierce promoted EthereumMax on Twitter without disclosing that he was paid the sum of $244K to do so.
The SEC noted that the former NBA player tweeted misleading statements about EMAX, including sharing a screenshot of an account holding many tokens. The rationale behind the effort was to convince potential investors that he had a large amount of EMAX to lure them into purchasing the cryptocurrency. However, Pierce’s EMAX holdings were relatively lower than what he shared on Twitter, the statement read. The SEC added that Pierce also shared a link to a website that contains instructions on how potential investors can purchase EMAX.
While Pierce did not deny or admit the SEC’s findings, he agreed to pay $1.409 million in disgorgement and penalty to settle with the securities regulator. In addition, Pierce also agreed not to promote crypto asset securities in the next three years.
SEC chair Gensler urged investors always to research crypto assets promoted by celebrities. Meanwhile, Pierce is not the only celebrity that has settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As reported last year, prominent American TV personality Kim Kardashian paid a $1.26 million fine to the SEC for promoting Ether Max without revealing that she was paid $250,000 for the promotion.
The SEC has recently intensified its regulatory crackdown in the cryptocurrency space. This month, the SEC settled with cryptocurrency exchange Kraken and filed charges against Terra founder Do Kwon.