YIKES!! Clifford Harris Jr., better known as rapper and actor T.I. is in some deep legal trouble, again. This time, however, The SEC has brought up charges against the rapper for his alleged participation in fraud activities involving cryptocurrency.
The SEC has announced charges against the “U Don’t Know Me” rapper along with 4 other Atlanta based individuals, including film producer Ryan Felton. All have been indicted for two cryptocurrency-based investment schemes lead by Felton.Court documents, reveals in detail how the crew allegedly promoted the initial coin offerings (ICOs) in 2017 and 2018 for the entities “FLiK” and “Coinspark”.
FLiK, marketed as an entertainment streaming platform, and Coinspark, founded as a “new cryptocurrency trading exchange”, were both created by Felton and in order for the price of the coins to increase, a plethora of false representations was made before, during, and after the ICOs. Claims that all the investor funds would go towards the “development, launch, and support of the platforms” as well that private investigators invested in the platforms would be proven false as the ICOs were both “unregistered and fraudulent”.
“The SEC’s complaint alleges that Felton promised to build a digital streaming platform for FLiK, and a digital-asset trading platform for CoinSpark. Instead, Felton allegedly misappropriated the funds raised in the ICOs,” the statement read. In a separate complaint, the SEC details that the FLiK ICO raised about 539 ether (ETH), worth $164,665 at the time (late September 2018), whereas the CoinSpark ICO raised around 460 ether, worth about $282,418 at the time. It also details further allegations of Felton secretly transferring tokens to himself and selling them into the market, engaging in manipulative activity, and racking an additional $2.2 million in profits.
Also posing as a potential investor on different social media sites and internet forums, the film producer continued to promote false information for the entities and when the ICOs ended, he secretly sold thousands of crypto-coins and eventually transferred the majority of investor funds to his personal accounts. The alleged misappropriated funds were then used to procure a $1.5 million house as well as a $180,000 red 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fioran Coupe, both purchased in all cash, and other things to enhance his extravagant lifestyle.
The SEC reports that T.I.’s alleged role in the said scheme was offering and selling FLiK tokens on his social media accounts, all the while encouraging his followers to invest in the fraudulent company and falsely claiming to be FLiK’s co-owner. The “Paper Trail” rapper allegedly also recruited a “celebrity friend” to help promote the ICO, and also included in the documents is his social media manager, William Sparks, Jr., showing his involvement in promoting.
It’s reported that the rapper has agreed to settle, paying a $75,000 fine, and will not participate in the sale of ANY digital asset for at least five years. All other parties involved have reportedly agreed to settle except for Felton. This all comes amidst the rapper recently “giving advice” to followers to use the money they received from the government during the pandemic to “buy property” and invest, rather than squandering on luxury goods.
UPDATE: June 23, 2021: According to The Jasmine Brand, T.I.’s Cryptocurrency Fraud Lawsuit was dismissed due to exceeding statute of limitations. Court documents filed on June 21, 2021 revealed the investor’s 2019 complaint against T.I was dismissed due to statute of limitations being exceed: “Because we affirm the dismissal of the complaint as untimely, we do not reach Harris’s alternative arguments for affirmance, or Felton’s attempt to adopt them,” the judge stated.