Seagal, 67, agreed to give up $157,000 in
ill-gotten gains and to pay another $157,000 as a penalty for
failing to disclose payments he received for promoting an
investment in an initial coin offering from Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G),
the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement.
The SEC has moved to clamp down on such promotions. The agency
said in 2017 that social media endorsements from celebrities to
encourage people to buy stocks and other investments may be
unlawful if they do not disclose details about compensation
Seagal, who did not admit to any wrongdoing, failed to disclose
that he was promised $1 million in cash and B2G tokens in
exchange for those endorsements, the SEC said.
Representatives for Seagal did not respond immediately to
requests for comment.
Seagal, a Hollywood actor and martial arts expert who now lives
in Russia, became a "believer" in and "brand ambassador" for the
coins, B2G said in a statement in February 2018. From about
February to March 2018, Seagal promoted B2G to his Facebook and
Twitter followers with statements including "Don't miss out."
"These investors were entitled to know about payments Seagal
received or was promised to endorse this investment, so they
could decide whether he may be biased," said Kristina Littman,
chief of the SEC Enforcement Divisionís cyber unit.
As part of the deal, the actor has agreed not to promote any
securities for three years.
Seagal is a U.S. national living in Moscow, the SEC said.
In August 2018, the Russia Foreign Ministry said it had named
Seagal its special representative for Russian-U.S. humanitarian
ties, a role it said was meant to deepen cultural, art and youth
ties between the two countries.
President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to Seagal
in 2016, saying then that he hoped it would serve as a symbol of
how fractious ties between Moscow and Washington were starting
(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Bernadette Baum and
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