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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Paul Pierce Agrees to $1.4M Cryptocurrency Settlement With SEC

  • Former NBA star touted Emax tokens without disclosing he was paid.
  • ESPN fired Celtics legend for posting a video with exotic dancers.
Paul Pierce recently was fined by the SEC for his involvment with a crypto company.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball Hall of Famer Paul Pierce, who won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics, has agreed to fork over a $1.4 million settlement for improperly promoting the Emax cryptocurrency, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The 10-time NBA star made “false and misleading” statements about EthereumMax’s Emax tokens without disclosing he was paid to tout them on social media, according to the SEC.

Without admitting or denying the SEC’s charges, the 45-year-old Pierce, who was fired by ESPN two years ago, has agreed to settle the charges and pay $1.409 million in penalties, disgorgement, and interest.

“The SEC’s order finds that Pierce failed to disclose that he was paid more than $244,000 worth of EMAX tokens to promote the tokens on Twitter,” said the SEC in a statement. 

“The SEC’s order also finds that Pierce tweeted misleading statements related to EMAX, including tweeting a screenshot of an account showing large holdings and profits without disclosing that his own personal holdings were, in fact, much lower than those in the screenshot. In addition, one of Pierce’s tweets contained a link to the EthereumMax website, which provided instructions for potential investors to purchase EMAX tokens.”

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In April 2021, Pierce was dumped by ESPN for posting a racy video of himself drinking and smoking with twerking and exotic dancers. 

Pierce was making over $1 million a year at the time with ESPN, said sources. During his career, he earned $195 million, according to Spotrac.

Nicknamed “The Truth,” Pierce played 19 seasons in the NBA, winning an NBA title in 2008.

Hollywood celebrity Kim Kardashian previously agreed to a  $1.26 million settlement for touting the same currency.  

“This case is yet another reminder to celebrities: The law requires you to disclose to the public from whom and how much you are getting paid to promote investment in securities, and you can’t lie to investors when you tout a security,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler in a statement. “When celebrities endorse investment opportunities, including crypto asset securities, investors should be careful to research if the investments are right for them, and they should know why celebrities are making those endorsements.”

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