T.I. has been ordered to pay $75,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission in relation to an unregistered and fraudulent initial coin offering. The SEC named T.I. in a statement released on Friday citing his role in promoting one of two fraudulent ICO ventures headed by producer Ryan Felton. The SEC statement notes:
"In a settled administrative order, the SEC finds that T.I. offered and sold FLiK tokens on his social media accounts, falsely claiming to be a FLiK co-owner and encouraging his followers to invest in the FLiK ICO. 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.” The SEC’s complaint alleges that T.I.’s social media manager William Sparks, Jr. offered and sold FLiK tokens on T.I.’s social media accounts, and that two other Atlanta residents, Chance White and Owen Smith, promoted SPARK tokens without disclosing they were promised compensation in return. [...] The SEC’s order against T.I. requires him to pay a $75,000 civil monetary penalty and not participate in offerings or sales of digital-asset securities for at least five years."
T.I.’s team has responded to the SEC issuing a fine for his role in the situation.
Via a statement issued, T.I.’s team said, “Mr. Harris regrets his involvement with Mr. Felton. He attempted to help a local entrepreneur who presented an innovative idea for an online streaming platform that would help reduce the barriers of entry for creators of music and video content. Regrettably, Mr. Felton apparently never built the platform he promised T.I. and many others, and instead sought to profit from Mr. Harris’s popularity and reputation.”
The statement continued, “Mr. Harris never took a dollar from Mr. Felton’s failed venture and immediately removed his name from it once he learned that the project was undeveloped. Mr. Harris responded to all inquiries made by the SEC, and the settlement announced [Friday] is in full satisfaction of that investigation. Mr. Harris will continue to look for ways to help new artists gain access to digital distribution.”