Former NBA star Paul Pierce will pay $1.4 million to settle regulatory allegations that he promoted a cryptocurrency to investors without disclosing his financial incentives to do so, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday.
Mr. Pierce allegedly made false and misleading statements when promoting EthereumMax tokens on Twitter without disclosing that he was paid more than $244,000 for it, according to the SEC. The athlete, nicknamed “The Truth” during his long career with the Boston Celtics, neither admitted nor denied the allegations in the SEC settlement.
The case is the latest in a series of SEC enforcement actions targeting crypto as the agency seeks to contain a market that Chairman Gary Gensler has called lawless.
EthereumMax, or EMAX, is the same cryptocurrency that the SEC fined Kim Kardashian $1.3 million for advertising last year. The SEC says it meets the definition of a security, which its issuer should have registered with the agency before offering it to investors.
The SEC said Mr. Pierce tweeted a screenshot of an account showing large holdings of EMAX and profits. However, his personal possessions were much less. One of Mr. Pierce’s tweets included a link to the EthereumMax website, which contained instructions for potential investors to buy EMAX tokens, the SEC said.