T.I. Named In Federal Investigation Of Cryptocurrency Fraud, Settles With SEC
Grammy-winning rapper and actor Clifford Harris, Jr., better known as T.I., has settled some cryptocurrency-related charges that were filed against him and four others by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In a press release posted on the SEC’s official website, Atlanta, GA native T.I. along with three other individuals were accused and charged with promoting one of film producer Ryan Felton’s “two unregistered and fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs).” Ryan Felton’s companies, FLiK and CoinSpark, were named as the involved entities. The press release explains:
…Felton promised to build a digital streaming platform for FLiK, and a digital-asset trading platform for CoinSpark. Instead, Felton allegedly misappropriated the funds raised in the ICOs. The complaint also alleges that Felton secretly transferred FLiK tokens to himself and sold them into the market, reaping an additional $2.2 million in profits, and that he engaged in manipulative trading to inflate the price of SPARK tokens.
T.I. reportedly became involved after sharing information about the companies on his social media pages. He encouraged his followers to invest in FLiK, indicating he was a co-owner (which is reportedly untrue), and, according to the press release,
…asked a celebrity friend to promote the FLiK ICO on social media and provided the language for posts, [where the individual] referred to FLiK as T.I.’s ‘new venture.’
Meanwhile, the rapper and philanthropist doesn’t appear to be bothered at all by this latest situation. T.I. has not posted any statements about the charges and instead has been heavily promoting his latest single “Ring” featuring fellow rapper Young Thug which dropped on Friday (September 11).
Now at the time in 2017, it seemed that a substantial amount of money was raised for Ryan Felton’s FLiK and CoinSpark, perhaps because it was reportedly aimed at entertainment creatives who needed financial assistance to record and distribute various film projects. The SEC statement indicated that none of the raised funds went to any projects because it said:
Felton allegedly used the funds he misappropriated and the proceeds of his manipulative trading to buy a Ferrari, a million-dollar home, diamond jewelry, and other luxury goods.
Ryan is accused of alleged deceitful behavior. Carolyn M. Welshhans, the Associate Director in the Division of Enforcement, says that the SEC complaint alleges that
Felton victimized investors through material misrepresentations, misappropriation of their funds, and manipulative trading.
In the complaint filed on Friday (September 11), T.I. has reportedly agreed to pay a $75,000 fine and has not publicly confirmed or denied the SEC’s discoveries. Reportedly, T.I.’s attorney says that the “Bring ‘Em Out” rapper “regrets his involvement with the offering” and clarified that his client
…never received a dollar from the failed venture and immediately removed his name from it once he learned that the project was undeveloped.
Despite this, T.I. not only has to pay a significant amount of money for a fine, but he has also been restricted by the SEC from participating in any crypto-currency sales or offerings for a minimum of five years. Additionally, Ryan is the only individual who has not agreed to a settlement to resolve all of the charges.
What do you think about the charges against T.I., Ryan Felton, and the others? Let us know in the comments!