Actress Lindsay Lohan, rap star Akon and six other celebrities have agreed to pay tens of thousands of dollars to settle Securities and Exchange Commission claims they illegally promoted crypto investments to their millions of social media followers without disclosing they were compensated.

Lohan, Akon, recording artists Ne-Yo and Lil Yachty, adult film performer Michele Mason and boxer and internet personality Jake Paul all agreed to pay more than $400,000 combined in disgorgement, interest and penalties to settle the claims they also failed to tell followers how much they were being paid to tout the coins, the SEC said yesterday.

None of the celebrities admitted or denied the SEC's findings as part of the settlement over the illegal promotion of cryptocurrency Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT).

Rapper Soulja Boy and pop singer Austin Mahone did not reach a settlement with the SEC, the regulator said.

“This case demonstrates the high-risk investors face when crypto asset securities are offered and sold without proper disclosure,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a press release.

In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in New York, the SEC claims the celebrities were paid to promote Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT), both crypto asset securities that were offered for sale by three companies owned by Justin Sun, a Chinese national.

“As alleged, Sun and his companies not only targeted U.S. investors in their unregistered offers and sales, generating millions in illegal proceeds at the expense of investors, but they also coordinated wash trading on an unregistered trading platform to create the misleading appearance of active trading in TRX. Sun further induced investors to purchase TRX and BTT by orchestrating a promotional campaign in which he and his celebrity promoters hid the fact that the celebrities were paid for their tweets,” Gensler added.

Sun amassed a profit of $31 million from illegal sales of his crypto token TRX. Under his direction, his employees conducted over 600,000 wash trades of TRX between the two crypto asset trading platforms that he controlled, the SEC said.

Sun is the permanent representative of Grenada to the World Trade Organization and may be living in Singapore or Hong Kong now, according to the complaint.

The crypto executive was charged with securities fraud for unregulated offer and sale of securities, market manipulation through extensive wash trading, and "orchestrating a scheme to pay celebrities to tout TRX and BTT without disclosing their compensation," according to the SEC’s press release.

Wash trading involves the simultaneous purchase and sale of securities to create the appearance of active trading.

Sun and his companies allegedly offered and sold TRX and BTT as investments through multiple unregistered programs, “which directed interested parties to promote the tokens on social media, join and recruit others to Tron-affiliated Telegram and Discord channels [a private chatroom and messaging platform] and create BitTorrent accounts in exchange for TRX and BTT distributions,” the SEC said in its complaint.

According to the SEC, all of the unregistered offers and sales violated Section 5 of the Securities Act, which requires non-exempt securities to be registered with the agency.

These complaints and settlements follow other high-profile charges the SEC has brought against major celebrities by the SEC for unlawfully promoting crypto.

NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce settled with the SEC in February over allegations of unlawfully touting and making misleading statements about crypto asset security EMAX.

Pierce, who allegedly touted the EMAX tokens on Twitter, also failed to disclose that he was paid for his promotion, the SEC said. Without admitting or denying guilt, he paid a $1.1 million penalty and disgorged approximately $240,000 in compensation and gains, according to the agency.

Last October, reality star Kim Kardashian paid a $1.26 million fine to settle charges she failed to disclose she was paid $250,000 to publish an Instagram post about EMAX tokens.