Rapper TI’s associates fined $103K over scam ICO promotion

Three associates of U.S. rapper and actor Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., better known as T.I., will have to part with $103,000 in connection with their alleged roles in promoting a scam initial coin offering (ICO). The three had been accused of promoting FLiK and CoinSpark, two ICO projects that turned out to be scams.

The U.S Securities and Exchanges Commission announced charges against the three—Chance White, William Sparks and Owen Smith—in September. It also charged rapper T.I. and Ryan Felton, the film producer who founded the two fraudulent companies. All the defendants agreed at the time to settle their charges with the regulator, except Felton.

As Law360 now reports, the SEC has settled its charges against the three associates of the rapper. The three have agreed to jointly pay the regulator $102,992 to cover the fees, penalties and as disgorgement of their ill-gotten gains.

William Sparks Jr. is the social media manager for the three-time Grammy award winning rapper. The SEC alleges that Sparks sold FLiK tokens via T.I.’s social media platforms, violating registration provisions. The other two Atlanta residents allegedly sold CoinSpark’s SPARK tokens without disclosing that they expected compensation for their promotion activities, violating registration and anti-fraud provisions.

With the payment of the penalties, the three defendants neither admitted nor denied their wrongdoing.

Announcing charges against the five two months ago, the SEC accused T.I. of selling and offering FLiK tokens on his social media accounts. He allegedly falsely claimed to be a co-owner of the company and encouraged his followers to invest in it. He further asked a celebrity friend to promote the FLiK ICO, requesting him to use “T.I.’s new venture” as part of the quote for the posts.

The man behind the two scams, Ryan Felton, is the only one yet to settle with the watchdog. The SEC has charged him with violating anti-fraud, registration and anti-manipulation provisions of the federal securities laws. It further charged his two companies, FLiK and CoinSpark with violating anti-fraud and registration provisions. The regulator has yet to reveal if it has made any progress in its charges against the film producer.

See also: U.S. Rep. Darren Soto’s keynote talk at CoinGeek Live on Balancing Innovation & Regulation for Growth of Blockchain Technology

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