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SEC首次对涉及ICO的非法宣传行为提起诉讼

美国证券交易委员会(SEC)指控职业拳击手Floyd Mayweather Jr.和音乐制作人DJ Khaled非法宣传首次代币发行(ICO)。

根据声明显示,美国证券交易委员会发现Mayweather没有披露从三家ICO发行方所获得的30万美元推广费用,其中就包括了加密货币初创公司Centra Tech所提供的10万美元,而Khaled也同样没有披露来自同一家公司的5万美元推广费。

早在今年5月,Centra的三位联合创始人Sohrab Sharma、Robert Farkas和Raymond Trapani被正式指控运营了一个欺诈性的ICO项目,该公司在2017年从投资者那里筹集了3200万美元。

虽然Mayweather和Khaled都不承认或否认对他们的指控,但他们同意支付某些费用。Mayweather将支付30万美元的追缴金额、30万美元的罚款和14775美元的判决前利息。与此同时,Khaled也将支付5万美元的追缴金额,10万美元的罚款,以及2725美元的判决前利息。

此外,Mayweather同意配合调查,并同意在未来三年不推销任何类型的证券产品。Khaled也已被禁止在两年内从事证券宣传相关的工作。美国证券交易委员会执法部联席主任Steven Peikin对此事发表评论:

投资者应该对社交媒体平台上发布的投资建议持怀疑态度,他们不应该根据名人所做的代言就匆忙做出投资决定。社交媒体上有影响力的名人通常是为了促使投资者购买产品,而不是投资专业人士。他们兜售的证券,不管是用传统的凭证发行的,还是用区块链发行的,都可能是骗子项目。

Mayweather在2017年9月开始推广Centra的ICO,并声称他已经开始使用Titanium Centra 卡进行比特币和以太坊等数字货币交易。当时,Centra的ICO是Mayweather宣传的第三个ICO。

就在几周后,Khaled也加入到了Mayweather的宣传行列,他通过在Instagram账户上公开表示自己购买了一张Titanium Centra卡来为Centra的ICO做宣传。

美国证券交易委员会曾与2017年11月底警告称,由名人代言的ICO项目可能是非法的。该委员会表示,如果宣传通证销售的人士不披露他们从代言中所获得的补偿的话,那么他们可能违反了“反兜售(anti-touting)”法。

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and music producer Khaled Khaled for unlawfully advertising Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), according to a press release published Nov. 29.

Per the announcement, the SEC found that Mayweather did not disclose promotional payments from three ICO issuers, including $100,000 from cryptocurrency startup Centra Tech, while Khaled, also known as DJ Khaled, failed to disclose $50,000 payment from the same company.

Back in May, the three co-founders of Centra — Sohrab Sharma, Robert Farkas, and Raymond Trapani — were formally indicted for running a fraudulent ICO, which raised $32 million from investors in 2017.

While neither party admitted to nor denied the charges against them, they agreed to pay certain fees and restrictions. Mayweather will pay $300,000 in disgorgement, a $300,000 penalty, and $14,775 in prejudgment interest. Khaled will pay $50,000 in disgorgement, a $100,000 penalty, and $2,725 in prejudgment interest.

Moreover, Mayweather agreed to collaborate with the investigation and not to promote any kind of securities during the next three years. Khaled has been barred from securities promotion for two years. SEC Enforcement Division Co-Director Steven Peikin commented on the issue:

"Investors should be skeptical of investment advice posted to social media platforms, and should not make decisions based on celebrity endorsements. Social media influencers are often paid promoters, not investment professionals, and the securities they’re touting, regardless of whether they are issued using traditional certificates or on the blockchain, could be frauds."

Mayweather began promoting Centra’s ICO in September 2017, claiming that he was already using his Titanium Centra card to use digital currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) in his business transactions. At that time, Centra’s ICO was the third ICO being promoted by Mayweather.

Just a few weeks later, Khaled joined Mayweather in promoting Centra’s ICO by making public his acquisition of a Titanium Centra Card on his Instagram account.

Later in November 2017, the SEC warned that ICOs  that were endorsed by celebrities could be illegal. The commission claimed that personalities who promote token sales could be violating the “anti-touting” laws if they do not reveal the compensation they received from their endorsements.

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