Celtics Great Paul Pierce Pays SEC $1.4 Million in Cryto Settlement

He promoted EthereumMax on social media

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce in 2022.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

During his days in the NCAA, Paul Pierce played for Kansas — but as of late, it’s the SEC that might be more prominent in his thoughts. Though in this case, it’s the other SEC — the Securities and Exchange Commission, which had charged him over his use of social media to promote EthereumMax. And, yes, that’s the same cryptocurrency that Kim Kardashian recently paid the SEC a $1.26 million fine over.

What’s at stake here? Apparently, Paul Pierce was paid to promote the cryptocurrency EthereumMax but never disclosed it — and did so in a misleading manner. It’s worth stressing here that this EthereumMax not the same thing as Ethereum; instead, as per a CoinDesk article on the cryptocurrency in question, it’s “a token built on top of the blockchain.”

As Engadget reports, the SEC targeted Pierce for making what the SEC called “misleading statements” about the currency in question via social media. Pierce received the equivalent of $244,000 in tokens for his promotion of EthereumMax on social media, which — as per the SEC — he did not disclose. In the end, the matter was resolved by Pierce paid a fine of $1.4 million.

Where Have All the Crypto-Shilling Celebs Gone?
The crypto market is plummeting, and its annoying celebrity boosters have become unusually quiet

In an announcement of the settlement, the SEC’s chair, Gary Gensler, weighed in on the matter. “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,” he said. That’s sound investment advice for celebrities and non-celebrities alike.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.