lindsay lohan jake paul youtube crypto akon austin mahone

Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Soulja Boy Among a Slew Of Celebs Charged Over Dodgy Crypto Endorsements

2 min read

This article is for general information purposes only and isn’t intended to be financial product advice. You should always obtain your own independent advice before making any financial decisions. The Chainsaw and its contributors aren’t liable for any decisions based on this content.



What do Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Soulja Boy, and Akon have in common? Being charged for promoting cryptocurrency.

Eight celebrities have become the latest targets of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) crackdown on the crypto industry.

In an announcement by the SEC, Lohan, Paul, Soulja Boy, and Akon are charged for “illegally touting” two crypto tokens, Tron (TRX) or BitTorrent Token (BTT), “without disclosing that they were compensated for doing so and the amount of their compensation.”

Other celebrities named in this round of SEC charges include singer Austin Mahone, Ne-Yo, Lil Yachty, and Kendra Lust.

What are TRX and BTT?

The charges form part of a larger story – that the SEC is charging a crypto entrepreneur, Justin Sun, and his three crypto companies, Tron Foundation, BitTorrent Foundation, and Rainberry Inc. for the “unregistered offer and sale of crypto asset securities.”

TRX and BTT are the native tokens of Tron and BitTorrent.

“His Excellency” (yes, that’s what he calls himself) Justin Sun, born in China and now serving as an ambassador for Geneva to the World Trade Organisation, founded Tron in 2017 to “[accelerate] the decentralisation of the internet via blockchain technology and decentralised applications.”

If BitTorrent rings a bell, it’s indeed what you’re thinking of: the popular platform that lets users transfer large music and video files. 

Sun acquired BitTorrent in 2019 for US$140 million, and subsequently launched the BTT token in the same year.

How much were they paid?

The celebrities promoted TRX or BTT in various ways, and were paid different amounts for doing so. Here’s how much some of them allegedly received.

Lindsay Lohan: US$10,000

The SEC’s litigation against the Mean Girls star alleges that in February 2021, she “promoted a crypto asset security on Twitter in exchange for a payment of US$10,000 from the issuer. Lohan, at the time of her promotion, had approximately 8.4 million Twitter followers.”

“Exploring DeFi and already liking JST, SUN on TRX,” she tweeted. [Attach tweet]

Jake Paul: US$25,019

Also in February 2021, the SEC alleged that YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul “promoted a security being publicly offered by Tron.”

Paul quoted a tweet by Lil Yachty and tweeted a hashtag of the TRX token. [Attach tweet]

Lil Yachty: US$10,000

Rapper Lil Yachty, or Miles Parks McCollum, also allegedly received thousands to send a tweet about Justin Sun and Tron, claims the SEC. McCollum promoted Tron to his 5.3 million followers on Twitter.

His tweet has since been deleted, but was quoted by Jake Paul. 

Akon: US$42,000

The SEC alleges that Akon (remember him?) was paid US$42,000 to promote Justin Sun’s crypto tokens to his 6.2 million followers on Twitter.

Akon’s tweet has since been deleted, but Sun did tag the rapper in an old tweet telling him to “keep an eye on Tron.” [Attach tweet]

As of writing, the SEC states that except Austin Mahone and Soulja Boy, the remaining celebs agreed to “pay a total of more than US$400,000 in disgorgement, interest, and penalties to settle the charges, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings.”