Monday, December 3, 2018

Mayweather Ordered To Pay Over $600,000 By SEC For Failing To Disclose ICO Endorsement Compensation

Former pound-for-pound number one boxer Floyd Mayweather reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") over his failure to disclose endorsement money he received from three securities offered and sold in Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs").

According to an SEC Order Instituting Cease-And Desist Proceedings (see below), Mayweather is not "admitting or denying" the allegations against him.  However, the SEC laid out their case in the Order.  The SEC found that:
  • From July through September 2017, Mayweather promoted three ICOs on his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts, each with multi-million followers, in exchange for approximately $300,000 in compensation.
  • Centra Tech, Inc. ("Centra"), which paid Mayweather for his endorsement, conducted the ICO to raise capital for the "world's first Multi-Blockchain Debit Card and Smart and Insured Wallet" which would supposedly allow people to convert hard-to-spend "cryptocurrencies" into legal tender and spend that money using a "Visa- or MasterCard-backed 'Centra Card.'"  The SEC had filed a separate civil action against the founders of Centra alleging that the ICO was fraudulent.
  • Mayweather promoted Centra's and two other ICOs without disclosing that he was being compensated or the amount of compensation.  The lack of disclosure violated Section 17(b) of the Securities Act.
Mayweather was ordered to pay $300,000 in disgorgement, $14,775.67 in prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty of $300,000 to the SEC for transfer to the general fund of the US Treasury.  Mayweather also agreed to forgo receiving any compensation for endorsing any securities for the next three years from the date of the order and to continue to cooperate with the SEC's investigation of the matter.

The NY Times had an interesting feature on Mayweather's activity with the ICOs as it was happening in 2017.

See the SEC Order:

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