On Thursday the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that movie star Steven Seagal would be required to pay more than $300,000 in fines.
The news comes despite the fact that Seagal definitely doesn't know what he did wrong. The SEC—which Seagal has never heard of—claims that he failed to disclose the fact that he was promised $250,000 for his work promoting an initial coin offering (ICO) by cryptocurrency Bitcoiin2Gen. The promotion included a press release proclaiming "Zen Master Steven Seagal Has Become the Brand Ambassador of Bitcoiin2Gen."
Seagal—who legitimately believes himself to have achieved the rank of Zen Master on the grounds that he once had rocked a goatee and a ponytail at the same time—was also offered $750,000 worth of the cryptocurrency, which he definitely believed would go up in value (despite the fact that the company had to misspell "coiin" for legal reasons). What Seagal actually received was $157,000 in cash. To calculate his fine, the SEC doubled that amount and added $16,000 in interest, arriving at a figure that Seagal is still trying to work out with a sudoku puzzle he's mistaken for a calculator. Seagal agreed to the fine and was not required to admit to the SEC's findings, which is fortunate because he almost certainly zoned out as soon as the paperwork made an appearance—preferring to imagine himself karate-chopping a room full of bad guys one-at-a-time.
According to a statement from the SEC Enforcement Division's Cyber Unit, "Celebrities are not allowed to use their social media influence to tout securities without appropriately disclosing their compensation." "Celebrities" is apparently a category that includes aging, overweight men who believe themselves to be martial arts experts and travel to Eastern Bloc nations to make movies with titles like (but legally distinct from) A Day Left to Die and Kill or Be Deadly.
Seagal is a man of such resounding spiritual depth thatwhen a young actress decided to drop out of Flight of Fury because the role required nudity, he reportedly said, "You won't even show your t*ts?" He's a man whose lurid fake tan can only be matched by fake mastery of Aikido. A man whose Blues and Reggae album, Songs from the Crystal Cave, features "Buddhist" teachings and tracks like "Me Want the Punani." A man who has dedicated his mind so purely to cultural appropriation, misogyny, and pretending to be tough that he once bragged to an SNL cast member that he had "just read the greatest movie script ever" and was referring to his own writing. Later, he would pitch a sketch about a therapist sexually pursuing a rape-survivor patient. The fact that he not only thought the idea was funny, but that other people would be cool with it too, is just a testament to how much of his brain has been taken over by fake punching.
Does he actually believe—as he has falsely claimed—that he used to be a navy seal and also a CIA operative? Probably. Did he use his friendship with Sheriff Joe "concentration camp" Arpaio to drive a tank into a house, killing a puppy? Of course. Did he include in his novel The Way of the Shadow Wolves, the following sentence: "John turned around with the swiftness of a tiger and the intensity of a charging bear and went right into the face of the man who was rocked by the words flying out of the Shadow Wolf's mouth?" Without a doubt.
You may think it's cruel to pin financial crimes on a man whose brain-mush could produce that sentence, but the SEC is not legally allowed to go after him for his many sexual crimes, so this fine will have to do for now.