Lindsay Lohan and a MILF Porn Star Among Celebrities Charged With Illegally Promoting Crypto
Herbie: Fully Loaded actor Lindsay Lohan and an adult performer known for playing MILFs are among those being charged in an cryptocurrency fraud scheme, according to a press release from the Securities and Exchanges Commission, published Wednesday afternoon.
The press release states that eight celebrities, including Lohan, adult performer Kendra Lust, influencer Jake Paul, and musician Lil Yachty, are being charged for illegally promoting the cryptocurrencies TRX (Tronix) and/or BitTorrent (BTT) without disclosing that they were paid to doing so, or how much they were compensated.
The charges, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of New York, are part of a wider investigation into cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun, who owns the companies behind Tronix and BitTorrent. The SEC is charging Sun and his companies with using “wash trading,” or making it appear that a trader has bought or sold a security without doing so for the purposes of market manipulation, and for paying celebrities to promote his cryptocurrencies without disclosing they were being paid.
“As alleged in the complaint, Sun and others used an age-old playbook to mislead and harm investors by first offering securities without complying with registration and disclosure requirements and then manipulating the market for those very securities,” Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a press release. “At the same time, Sun paid celebrities with millions of social media followers to tout the unregistered offerings, while specifically directing that they not disclose their compensation. This is the very conduct that the federal securities laws were designed to protect against regardless of the labels Sun and others used.”
Other celebrities named in the release include Akon, Ne-Yo, Lil Yachty, Austin Mahone, Soulja Boy, and influencer Jake Paul. The SEC notes that of the celebrities charged, everyone except Soulja Boy and Mahone have agreed to pay a total of more than $400,000 to settle the charges without admitting guilt or innocence.
A former child star best known for her performances in The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan frequently made tabloid appearances in the early-to-mid 2000s for her various legal troubles and rehab stints, leading to her losing film roles. Most recently, she made a career resurgence with the Netflix Christmas movie Falling for Christmas and announced last week that she was pregnant with her first child with husband Bader Shammas.
Lohan was an early adopter of crypto, enthusiastically promoting Bitcoin and NFTs on her Twitter account to her more than 8 million followers. She even auctioned off an NFT of her own fursona in 2021, to the chagrin of some in the furry community, who sniffed that it lacked “panache.” Last year, Motherboard reported that Lohan’s name appeared on an extensive spreadsheet of influencers paid to promote cryptocurrency, with Lohan reportedly commanding $25,000 for a single tweet.
According to the SEC’s charging document, however, Lohan was paid only $10,000 to promote TRX on Twitter. “Exploring #DeFi and already liking $JST, $SUN on $TRX. Super fast and 0 fee. Good job @justinsuntron,” she wrote in the Feb. 2021 tweet.
When reached for comment, Lohan’s publicist said, “Lindsay was contacted in March 2022 and was unaware of the disclosure requirement. She agreed to pay a fine to resolve the matter.”
The star of Mom’s Breast Advice, Ass Parade, and Big Wet MILF Tits, Lust entered the adult industry at the age of 33 and is best known as a MILF performer. According to the SEC charging document, Lust was paid $955 to promote TRX, telling her 1.5 million followers in a Feb. 2021 tweet, “people should use only $TRX cause it’s fast, cheap and hot. Even PornHub likes it, also tagging Sun in the tweet. As was the case with Lohan, the document alleges, Tron provided Lust with specific language to include in the tweet, yet she did not disclose that she was paid to promote the cryptocurrency.
Representatives for Sun and Lust did not immediately respond to requests for comment.