Kim Kardashian Settles SEC Crypto Promotion Charges for $1.26 Million
Kim Kardashian is in hot water after prompting crypto on her Instagram. The reality TV star got in trouble with the SEC for endorsing cryptocurrency on her Instagram Story and not disclosing she was being paid for the promotion.
In June 2021, Kardashian posted an Instagram Story ad promoting the crypotcurrency EthereumMax, a.k.a. EMAX.
"This is not financial advice but sharing what my friends just told me about the ethereum max token," Kardashian reportedly wrote.
According to the New York Post, she subsequently got in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission “for touting on social media a crypto asset security … without disclosing the payment she received for the promotion." Allegedly, she was paid $250,000 to post about the crypto.
The SEC said Kardashian "agreed to settle the charges, pay $1.26 million in penalties, disgorgement, and interest, and cooperate." The penalty also bars her from promoting crypto assets for three years.
However, Kardashian agreed to the deal "without admitting or denying" the charges.
"Ms. Kardashian is pleased to have resolved this matter with the SEC ... Kardashian fully cooperated with the SEC from the very beginning and she remains willing to do whatever she can to assist the SEC in this matter," Kardashian's spokesperson told the New York Post.
"She wanted to get this matter behind her to avoid a protracted dispute. The agreement she reached with the SEC allows her to do that so that she can move forward with her many different business pursuits," the spokesperson continued.
According to SEC Chair Gary Gensler, "This case is a reminder that, when celebrities or influencers endorse investment opportunities, including crypto asset securities, it doesn’t mean that those investment products are right for all investors."
"Ms. Kardashian’s case also serves as a reminder to celebrities and others that the law requires them to disclose to the public when and how much they are paid to promote investing in securities," he added.
Kardashian's endorsement of the cryptocurrency has been called a "pump and dump scheme." An investigation is still ongoing.