*Former Boston Celtics player Paul Pierce has been ordered — and he has agreed — to pay $1.4 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after he was accused of touting crypto securities. Pierce promoted EthereumMax (EMAX) tokens, according to CNBC, but he never publicly revealed that he was paid by EMAX to do so.
Pierce earned more than $244,000 in EMAX tokens, according to the same CNBC report. He was also accused of misleading the public when he shared screenshots of his EMAX profits.
“This case is yet another reminder to celebrities: The law requires you to disclose to the public from whom and how much you are getting paid to promote investment in securities, and you can’t lie to investors when you tout a security,” said SEC Chairman Gary Gensler in a statement.
After being fired from ESPN in 2021 for appearing in a live social media video with strippers, Pierce took to Twitter to respond.
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He wrote, ″@espn I don’t need you. I got @ethereum_max. I made more money with this crypto in the past month then [sic] I did with y’all in a year.”
He has been barred from promoting any crypto asset securities for three years. But Pierce is not the first celebrity to be caught offside by the SEC. Kim Kardashian was another culprit in 2021 after it was alleged that she also touted EMAX.
Kardashian had written, “This is not financial advice but sharing what my friends told me about the Ethereum max token!” She accompanied her post with hashtags #ad, #emax, and #disrupthistory.
The matter was resolved after she settled with the SEC for $1.2 million.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and other EMAX boosters also faced federal lawsuits, but the cases were dismissed in December after a Judge ruled that the plaintiffs’ allegations didn’t meet the standards required of fraud cases.
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The SEC has been relentlessly enforcing taunting crypto and has proposed certain changes to federal laws to help its cause.
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