SEC Charges "Stoner Cats" NFT Project Starring Hollywood Celebs

Tanya Sharma
Tanya Sharma Published on September 13, 2023 09:23 PM

SEC has taken action against the creators of the NFT animated series "Stoner Cats" which includes casts like Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis etc.

SEC Charges "Stoner Cats" NFT Project Starring Hollywood Celebs
Source: Unsplash

An NFT project that garnered attention for its star-studded cast, including Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and more, now faces federal charges.

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken action against the creators of the animated Web3 series 'Stoner Cats' for an unregistered offering of NFTs. 
  • Charges were filed against Stoner Cats 2 LLC, which has agreed to a settlement involving a $1 million civil penalty and a fund for reimbursing NFT buyers. 
  • This development underscores the regulatory complexities surrounding NFT projects involving high-profile celebrities.

Let's delve into the details of this case and its potential implications for the entertainment industry and the NFT space as a whole.

"Stoner Cats": An NFT-Funded Animated Series

"Stoner Cats" debuted in 2021 as an animated series funded through the sale of NFTs.

The show follows the adventures of cats who gain the ability to talk after exposure to medical marijuana.

The NFT offering raised over $8 million and provided buyers access to the series, unique avatars, and a promise of future animated projects.

The charges have been filed against Stoner Cats 2 LLC. As part of an agreement, the LLC will pay a $1 million civil penalty.

Additionally, they will establish a fund to reimburse NFT buyers. The company neither admits nor denies any wrongdoing in this matter.

SEC's Perspective on "Stoner Cats"

The series was conceived by Ash Brannon, Chris Cartagena, and Sarah Cole, drawing from Cole's personal experiences.

Kunis and her Orchard Farm Productions joined the project, assembling a team of voice talent, animators, and technology experts, including pioneers from CryptoKitties.

This collaboration utilized NFTs to create a community of holders, granting them exclusive insights into the series' production process.

Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, emphasized that, regardless of the NFT's nature, it's the economic reality of the offering that determines its regulatory classification.

The SEC contends that "Stoner Cats" marketed its crypto knowledge, suggested potential NFT value appreciation, and created expectations of profit from secondary market sales.

Hollywood Responds

The production involved an accomplished team of writers, animators, and voice actors, known for their contributions to major animated films and motion pictures.

Compensation for their work was funded by the proceeds and royalties generated from Stoner Cats NFTs.

No individuals have been named in the SEC's order, and the agency has not provided further details. Representatives for Kunis and Kutcher have not yet issued a response.

Impact on Entertainment and NFTs

This legal action against "Stoner Cats" raises important questions about the intersection of entertainment, NFTs, and blockchain technology.

It prompts discussions around regulatory compliance, investor protection, and the evolving landscape of digital assets within the entertainment industry.

As the case unfolds, it will be closely watched by both the crypto community and the entertainment world, potentially influencing how NFT-driven projects involving high-profile personalities are structured and managed in the future.

Looking Ahead

The outcome of this case may set a precedent for how NFT projects with celebrity involvement navigate regulatory challenges.

It could lead to greater clarity and compliance within the NFT space, shaping the future of entertainment projects that incorporate blockchain technology. 

This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding and adhering to securities regulations, even in innovative sectors like NFTs and Web3 entertainment.




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