‘Stoner Cats’ NFTs draw $1 million fine from SEC – The Hollywood Reporter

The federal government’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies is hitting Hollywood again – this time in the sights of a high-profile animated Web3 series starring the voices of Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Chris Rock, Jane Fonda, Seth MacFarlane and others.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against the creators of the NFT animated series on Wednesday Stoner cats for an unregistered offering of NFTs. In addition to lending their voices to the cast, Kunis and Kutcher also went on a media tour to promote the project.

The charges were brought against Stoner Cats 2 LLC, which agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty and set up a fund to return money to buyers of the NFTs, the SEC said in a statement. No wrongdoing was admitted or denied.

Stoner cats launched in 2021 as an animated series funded by selling NFTs to buyers. The series follows the crazy adventures of cats who learn to talk after inhaling medical marijuana. The NFT offering (which raised more than $8 million) gave buyers access to the series, their own “Stoned Cat” avatar, and promised the creation of future animated projects.

Accordingly his website, Stoner cats was created by Ash Brannon, Chris Cartagena and Sarah Cole based on Cole’s experience with her own mother. Kunis and her Orchard Farm Productions came on board and “formed an impressive collective of voice actors, animators and creatives of all kinds to work with technology and NFT experts (including the brilliant minds behind CryptoKitties) to bring this story to life. “NFTs.”

More than ten thousand unique NFTs were created and the six-episode series was only accessible to NFT owners – who also had access to the show’s creators “making it one of the first projects to use NFTs to build a community of holders.” to get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of an animated series and interact directly with top Hollywood talent.”

The SEC says the illegal funds were used to pay the voice actors as well as the animators, writers and others involved in the production.

“Regardless of whether your offering is of beavers, chinchillas, or animal-based NFTs, under the federal securities laws, it is the economic reality of the offering – not the labels you put on it or the underlying objects – that determines it “determine what is an investment contract and therefore a security,” Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a statement. “The SEC’s order here finds that Stoner Cats marketed its knowledge of crypto projects, touted that the price of its NFTs could increase, and took other steps that led investors to believe they were being profited from selling the NFTs on the It is therefore hardly surprising, as the order notes, that Stoner Cats sold its entire offering of NFTs in just 35 minutes, raising over $8 million in proceeds, most of which then occurred within a few months were resold on the secondary market – not kept as collector’s items. ”

The production of Stoner cats Well-known authors, animators and voice actors were involved. The team of writers and animators was recognized for their work on major animated films and feature films. As compensation, SC2 paid the actors and artists (as well as the producers, as well as the project’s managers and technical professionals) all offering proceeds and royalties it generated from secondary market sales of the Stoner Cats NFTs.

The SEC’s order does not name any individuals, and the agency would not disclose those details. An SEC spokesman said in a brief statement: “We decline to comment beyond our public filings on this matter.”

Representatives for Kunis and Kutcher recently received widespread backlash for letters they wrote to the court in support of Kunis and Kutcher That 70’s show Actor Danny Masterson before his sentencing, have not yet responded to a request for comment.

Brian Ashcraft

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