Kim Kardashian, charged with unlawfully touting crypto, to pay $1.26 million

Officials announced Monday that Kim Kardashian has agreed to pay $1.26 million to settle allegations that she promoted a cryptocurrency investment opportunity in violation of federal law.

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The Security and Exchange Commission charged Kardashian with touting a crypto asset security on Instagram without disclosing the payment she got. Officials said she was paid $250,000 to publish a post about EMAX tokens from EthereumMax to her hundreds of millions of followers.

“ARE YOU GUYS INTO CRYPTO????” she wrote in June 2021, according to The Washington Post. “THIS IS NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE BUT SHARING WHAT MY FRIENDS JUST TOLD ME ABOUT THE ETHEREUM MAX TOKEN!”

The newspaper reported that Kardashian included a hashtag on the post that indicated it was an advertisement, though the SEC said she failed to disclose the amount she was paid. The post included a link to the EthereumMax website, which had instructions for people interested in purchasing EMAX tokens, officials said.

“The federal securities laws are clear that any celebrity or other individual who promotes a crypto asset security must disclose the nature, source, and amount of compensation they received in exchange for the promotion,” Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said Monday in a statement. “Investors are entitled to know whether the publicity of a security is unbiased, and Ms. Kardashian failed to disclose this information.”

In a statement obtained by The Associated Press, an attorney for Kardashian said that the reality TV star and entrepreneur was “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,” the statement said. “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.”

As part of the settlement, Kardashian agreed not to promote any crypto asset securities for three years, officials said.