Paul Pierce was one of several athletes/celebrities who were accused of improperly promoting cryptocurrency in an alleged scheme last year, and the former NBA star has agreed to pay a large settlement.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Friday that Pierce agreed to pay more than $1.4 million to settle charges related to the way he promoted EthereumMax on social media. The SEC said Pierce promoted the crypto “without disclosing the payment he received for the promotion” and made “false and misleading promotional statements” about the product.
Pierce was paid more than $244,000 to promote EMAX tokens on his Twitter account. He at one point tweeted a misleading image showing a bank account with large figures that did not reflect his account’s actual figures.
Pierce paid a total of $1.409 million in “penalties, disgorgement and interest” to settle charges, according to the SEC.
“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,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement.
Pierce and other celebrities were civilly sued last year for their promotion of EthereumMax. The celebrities were accused of promoting the crypto and then selling their assets after the price rose, which is known as a pump-and-dump scheme.
That was not the first time Pierce was sued.