T.I. has settled a case from the US Securities and Exchange Commission — and it came with a hefty price tag. The government agency accused the rapper of promoting false cryptocurrency, also known as initial coin offerings (ICOs), and Tip now faces a $75,000 fine.
Tip was just one of the individuals noted in the SEC’s charges, which named film maker Ryan Felton as the main perpetrator. According to a press release from the SEC, Felton created the ICO FLiK, named after his company, and began selling the coins on the market, tapping T.I. to promote the endeavor as a celebrity. Felton illegally pocketed a number of the tokens, reselling them on the market and pocketing $2.2 million in profit. In a statement, the SEC’s Carolyn M. Welshhans said Felton “victimized investors through material misrepresentations, misappropriation of their funds, and manipulative trading.”
While Felton started the cryptocurrency, Tip marketed and sold the tokens to his social media followers and falsely claimed he was the company’s co-owner. The SEC also claims the rapper sought out an unnamed “celebrity friend” to assist in the promotion and write all the copy for the social media posts. Not only does Tip’s settlement necessitate the rapper pay the SEC $75,000, but it also bars him from participating in offerings or sales of “digital-asset securities” for at least five years.
The SEC’s case named four other Atlanta individuals alongside Tip and Felton. All but Felton have settled their cases with the SEC.
Read the SEC’s full statement here.