Reality star and rapper T.I. has found himself in a bit of a doozy as he’s been named in a federal investigation involving cryptocurrency fraud. According to WSBTV reports, Atlanta film producer Ryan Felton has been indicted on federal charges connected to a cryptocurrency investment scheme with T.I. aka Tip Harris and several others named in the indictment and facing penalties for their association.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says Ryan Felton misled investors who thought they were funding an entertainment streaming platform and a new cryptocurrency. Felton also posed as a potential investor using fake names on internet forums and social media to build excitement for his business and after the initial coin offering he sold thousands of coins on secondary crypto-markets to artificially inflate prices, prosecutors say.
Prosecutors say Felton instead used that money for personal use including a $1.5 million home, and a 2007 Ferrari that he paid $180,000 cash for. A separate Securities and Exchange Commission investigation found rapper/actor Clifford Harris Jr., also known as T.I., promoted Felton’s unregistered and fraudulent coin offerings called FLik.
T.I. faced major backlash from the SEC because he used his social media accounts to promote the company and claimed to be one of the co-owners of the fraudulent crypto-currency.
Market Watch reported that he even asked an “unnamed actor and comedian to also promote FLiK, providing language calling it T.I.’s new venture.” According to the SEC, the move broke federal laws given that the company never registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
T.I. has gotten off without criminal charges, however, he faces penalties. Harris is required to pay $75,000 in a civil penalty and he is not to participate in the sale of digital-asset securities for the next five years. Yikes!
The case against Felton is criminal and is still being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.