The rapper known as T.I. has reportedly been sued for his involvement in a cryptocurrency token scam that left investors high and dry.
Rapper T.I. Accused of Defrauding Crypto Investors
According to celebrity gossip outlet TMZ, rapper T.I., whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., is being sued to the tune of $5 million by a group of 25 individuals claiming that the hip-hop star peddled a cryptocurrency token that ultimately turned out to be a fraud.
The 25 individual investors claim that they invested over $1.3 million into a pump and dump scheme led by the rapper and his business colleague Ryan Felton.
T.I. and Felton are alleged to have used “social media, celebrity endorsements, and well-known industry experts to create the false impression that FLiK Tokens were a valuable liquid investment.”
The pair had incorrectly claimed that comedian Kevin Hart would join the project as the face of the company and as an “owner.” However, the claim turned out to be false, misleading those who considered investing in the FLiK token. Mark Cuban was another name thrown around, with Felton suggesting that the “Shark” and Dallas Maverick’s owner himself had invested in the project.
The suit claims that T.I. had used investors funds to drive up the price of the FLiK token, and then as soon as that happened, T.I. and Felton began selling their holdings, causing the price to plummet. Felton attempted to blame the devaluation on T.I. gifting the cryptocurrency tokens to family members, who had begun cashing out when the price increased. According to price data from CoinMarketCap, FLiK reached an all-time high of $0.21 on October 17, 2018. FLiK tokens are now priced at $0.0009 each – a significant fall.
The two join the likes of Floyd Mayweather, and another hip-hop producer, DJ Khaled, in being added to the growing list of celebrities being sued for endorsing fraudulent cryptocurrencies.
Rappers Are Becoming Infatuated with Crypto
From the gold chains adorned around the neck’s of Run DMC, to the “grillz” in Lil’ Wayne’s teeth, rappers have always loved their precious metals like platinum and gold – and now, that love is spilling into “digital gold” with a growing interest in cryptocurrencies.
It’s not just T.I. and DJ Khaled who have found themselves involved with cryptocurrency tokens. The son of the late Wu-Tang member Ol’ Dirty Bastard is set to launch ODB Coin, formerly known as Dirty Coin. Young Dirty, as he’s known, is working with AltMarket to launch ODB Coin as “merchandise, like a T-shirt, which makes it a commodity,” according to AltMarket CEO Bryce Weiner.
In addition to rappers enlisting in cryptocurrency projects and even launching their own cryptocurrencies, there’s a growing trend in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin being referenced in rap music.
Most recently, rapper Soulja Boy launched a track titled “Bitcoin,” and talked of the “stacks” he made by investing in cryptocurrencies. Before that, hip-hop icon Eminem featured a reference to Bitcoin on his recently released “Kamikaze” album, where fellow Detroit native Royce da 5’9″ delivered lyrics related to the number one cryptocurrency by market cap.