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 policeman announced on Monday. DRY.
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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.
The fine includes a penalty of $1 million as well as an adjustment of $260,000 which represents the amount received by Ms. Kardashian and interest.
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 post she posted 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!”
“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,” Gary Gensler said in a statement. , the boss of the SEC.
“We encourage investors to consider the potential risks and opportunities of an investment in light of their financial goals,” Gensler added.
According to Forbes, Ms. Kardashian’s personal fortune is $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 pleased to have resolved this matter with the SEC,” responded in a statement sent to AFP a lawyer for the star, adding that his client had “fully cooperated with the SEC from the beginning” and that she remained willing “to do whatever she can to assist the SEC in this matter.”
“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, ”said the lawyer.
Other celebrities have been caught in the past by US authorities for illegally promoting cryptocurrency, including boxer Floyd Mayweather, rap star DJ Khaled, actor Steven Seagal and rapper TI
In January, investors also launched a class action lawsuit against Ms. 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 as US regulators seek to step up pressure on several players in the industry.
In early August, the Treasury Department imposed financial sanctions on the “cryptocurrency mixer” Tornado Cash, accused of having been used to launder more than 7 billion dollars of virtual currency since 2019, including in connection with North Korea.