American star Kim Kardashian agreed to pay $1.26 million for praising a cryptocurrency on her Instagram account without mentioning that she was paid to do so, the Wall Street constable announced on Monday (October 3). , the SEC. The fine includes a penalty of $1 million as well as an adjustment of $260,000 which represents the amount received by Mr.me Kardashian and interests.
The authority specifically accuses the reality TV star, influencer and businesswoman of advertising a cryptocurrency asset, EMAX tokens, sold on EthereumMax, failing to indicate that she had been paid $250,000 per platform for this operation.
Rapper Kanye West’s ex-wife, who agreed to cooperate with the SEC, also pledged not to promote cryptocurrency assets for three years. In the offending message that she had published in June 2021, she wrote, all in capital letters: “Do you like crypto??? This is not financial advice but I am sharing with you what my friends just told me about the EthereumMax token! »
“Avoid a protracted conflict”
“This case is a reminder that when celebrities or influencers promote investment opportunities, including cryptocurrency assets, that doesn’t mean those investment products are good for all investors.”SEC chief Gary Gensler said in a statement, adding:
“We encourage investors to consider the potential risks and opportunities of an investment in light of their financial objectives. »
According Forbes, Mrs. Kardashian’s personal fortune stands at $1.8 billion. She has 331 million followers on Instagram. Already present in the world of make-up and sculpting underwear, she launched the private equity firm SKKY Partners in early September with Jay Simmons.
“Madame Kardashian is happy to have resolved this matter with the SEC”reacted in a press release a lawyer for the star, adding that his client had “fully cooperated with the SEC from the start” and that she remained willing “to do whatever it can to assist the SEC in this matter.” And to specify:
“She wants to put this case behind her in order to avoid a protracted conflict. The agreement reached with the SEC allows him to do this and to move forward with his many entrepreneurial projects. »
Other celebrities have been caught in the past by US authorities for illegally promoting cryptocurrencies, including boxer Floyd Mayweather, rap star DJ Khaled, actor Steven Seagal and rapper TI
In January, investors also launched a class action lawsuit against Mr.me Kardashian, Mr. Mayweather and former basketball player Paul Pierce, as well as the two founders of EthereumMax, accusing these personalities of having artificially inflated the price of the cryptocurrency.
The virtual currency market, regularly criticized for being a universe of sometimes dubious practices for lack of clear and established regulations, has suffered a vertiginous fall for several months, investors being cautious in the face of volatile assets deemed to be at risk.
This “crypto winter” comes at a time when US regulators are looking to step up pressure on several players in the sector. In early August, the Treasury Department thus imposed financial sanctions on the “cryptocurrency mixer” Tornado Cash, accused of being used to launder more than $7 billion in virtual currency since 2019, including in connection with North Korea.
Source: Le Monde