SEC charges former Celtic Paul Pierce with fraudulent promotion of cryptocurrency

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly charged former Boston Celtic Paul Pierce with making false and misleading statements in promoting the cryptocurrency EthereumMax. Pierce was sued back in May for his involvement and promotion of the “crypto” product.

The SEC found Pierce violated the anti-touting and antifraud rules under current federal securities laws. Pierce promoted EthereumMax on social media without disclosing payments totally more than $244,000 for said promotions.

Pierce has neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s charges, but the NBA Hall of Famer has agreed to pay $1.3 million in penalties and fees.

Pierce also agreed to abstain from promoting any crypto product for three years. In October, Kim Kardashian paid $1.2 million to settle her own case for failing to disclose payments from EthereumMax.

The order stated Pierce made misleading social media posts showing inflated EMAX holdings.

In reality, Pierce filed much smaller personal holdings. The report also found Pierce shared links with instructions for purchasing EMAX.

“This case is yet another reminder to celebrities,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement. “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.”

“When celebrities endorse investment opportunities, including crypto-asset securities, investors should be careful to research if the investments are right for them, and they should know why celebrities are making those endorsements,” Gensler added.

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