Crypto Scandals Involving Celebrities That Shaped an Era
Crypto and celebrity scandals have been going on since the dawn of time - in the latest decade, however, this strange marriage has seen its heyday. From rapacious bitcoin prices to gung-ho stars, the odds were practically stacked up for a crypto disaster. In this one-of-a-kind article, you'll find a plentiful array of the strangest, most confounding crypto-related scandals when people were either desperately excited or blissfully unaware of the technology they were playing with. A heady mix of fortunes, good luck and bad, we've pulled together a list of what can only be termed crypto controversies! Whether you find them entertaining or amusing - or, at times, downright alarming - have a look and see just what the wild world of crypto has had to offer in recent years, and let us know your thoughts!
In March 2021, John McAfee and Jimmy Gale Watson made quite a stir with accusations of fraud and money-laundering related to two crypto-oriented schemes. The charges relate to the baseless devaluing of certain altcoins through pump-and-dumps accompanied by so-called 'hush money' payments to those who promoted initial coin offerings. This illicit undertaking brought McAfee an estimated £13 million. Commenting on the behavior of the accused, William F. Sweeney Jr., the FBI Assistant Director, held true to his frankness by dubbing the deed an 'age-old pump-and-dump scheme'.
After the CFTC stated their civil charges against McAfee, a tribunal agreed to extradition back to the United States where he could potentially receive many years of imprisonment due to tax evasion allegations. In an attempt to circumvent this, an agreement was later finalized requiring an imposed financial penalty of around $290,000 to his bodyguard. However, after McAfee's passing, prosecutors abruptly decided to drop the case. Such occurrences are very rare in the celebrity world, McAfee seemingly having been cognizant of the implications of his actions. Contrary to the majority of personalities, his actions were not overseen by naivete or arrogance.
Paris Hilton was one of the first stars to feel the heat of IPO summer when she jumped on the bandwagon of the cryptocurrency startup LydianCoin. The venture was eager to raise a whopping $100 million through its Initial Coin Offering, which prompted the socialite to publicly commit, proclaiming "Looking forward to participating in the new @LydianCoinLtd Token! #ThisIsNotAnAd #CryptoCurrency #BitCoin #ETH #BlockChain". Despite Hilton's show of enthusiasm, the ICO space was ultimately unable to meet the lofty goals set by most these projects, and the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) was founded to express dissatisfaction at the meager returns these tokens provided. Non-fundable tokens (NFTs) also became prominent as attention began to shift away from these seemingly dubious offerings. As one of the founding members of BAYC, Hilton was influential in this discourse, giving rise to a wave of awareness and debate around the crypto-space and its assets.
Hilton, however, demonstrated a greater intellectual investment since then. Reports propose she invested in Bitcoin and Ether as early as 2016 and seized the NFT transition in 2019, the latter of which brought about virtual fashion, music, and animal themed spectacles in the 'metaverse,' together with a disposition with The Sandbox in order to set up a 3D domain suggestive of her ardors. Despite this, her prior excursion into digital currency demonstrated a lack of research - Weightiness having an unblemished past, owing to Gravity4 misappropriating regulations, and the director of the firm, Gurbaksh Chahal, being fined for domestic aggression. This opened Hilton to immense press study, leading her to eradicate the preliminary twitter message.
Since the 90s, Steven Seagal has not seen as much success in his Hollywood works as he did at the beginning of his career. These days, his movies are seldom seen in theatrical releases, and are instead relegated to straight-to-DVD, or more commonly, streaming services. This could be because of the actor's need for more funds to live off of -- which may explain why he decided to become the brand ambassador for Bitcoiin2Gen. In a statement from Seagal, he spoke of the new exchange, claiming that it was "superior or more advanced" than its predecessor -- though, it might be wise to take this with a pinch of salt.
Steven Seagal, in 2020, ran afoul of the SEC and their anti-promotional federal securities laws, being charged for performance as a brand ambassador for "Bitcoiin". He, in turn, was forced to settle with the SEC, paying out $314,000 in fines and ill-gotten profits while electing to neither admit to nor deny any and all allegations put forward by the commission. Furthermore, to make recompense, he agreed to stay clear of any and all communications or advertising of securities or digital securities for a term of three years. That said, now that the resolution period has ended, there's no reason to expect that the website containing information on the case would remain live - and it doesn't.