Rapper T.I. to pay massive fine over the FLiK initial coin offering the SEC says was a fraud
By Bob Garcia
The celebrity is accused of fraud and misrepresentation, and will have to pay a $75,000 fine
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to target cryptocurrency companies to ensure their legitimacy, and its latest investigation ended up with a famous rapper getting fined. According to the SEC, rapper T.I. has been promoting a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) in connection with a company named FLiK, so he now must pay a $75,000 fine. He was accused of offering and selling tokens belonging to this company through his social media accounts where he was encouraging his followers to put some money into this ICO.
The SEC also accused the rapper of saying that he is a co-owner of the company, which wasn’t true. “T.I. also asked a celebrity friend to promote the FLiK ICO on social media and provided the language for posts, referring to FLiK as T.I. ‘s ‘new venture,'” says a press release from the SEC. William Sparks, Jr., the Atlanta rapper’s social media manager, was accused, as well, of participating in this offering and selling FLiK tokens using the artist’s social media accounts.
T.I. agreed to “pay a $75,000 civil monetary penalty and not participate in offerings or sales of digital-asset securities for at least five years.” Additionally, four other Atlanta residents received charges from the SEC, including producer Ryan Felton and three others accused of promoting Felton’s fraudulent ICO. The other company involved in these accusations was CoinSpark, and all but Felton agreed to settle the case. “The federal securities laws provide the same protections to investors in digital asset securities as they do to investors in more traditional forms of securities,” said Carolyn M. Welshhans, Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.