The famous Hollywood action star Steven Seagal has been living in Russia for quite some time and was deliberately avoiding for getting in touch with the Securities & Exchange Commission of US, which, on the other hand, had instituted the famous actor in a crypto fraud case. The District Court hearing the case of the actor passed an order against Seagal allowing SEC to ensure recovery of the disgorgement amount which the actor had promised to pay but he failed.
Judge William Kuntz of the District Court in New York on 27th August passed an order against actor Steven Seagal.
Judge Kuntz was hearing the case brought before him by SEC raising allegations of Seagal’s involvement in the crypto fraud. During the course of trial, the Court found the accused guilty of committing crypto fraud and ordered him to pay US$ 330,000 as disgorgement. The disgorgement was ordered for onward payment to the victims whom Seagal had defrauded. Seagal, who was also present in the Court at that time, also promised before the Court that he will pay the disgorgement amount.
However, so far Seagal has paid US$ 75,000 only against disgorgement since February 2020 when the Court had passed disgorgement order. In the meanwhile, he was given honorary citizenship by the Government of Russia under the order and decree of President Vladimir Putin. Thereafter, he moved out of the US and settled permanently in Moscow, Russia and since then hasn’t paid the rest of the outstanding money. He was even contacted by SEC at several times, however, one way or the other, he avoided getting in touch.
SEC has now once again gone before the District Court which had originally passed the order of payment of disgorgement against Seagal. SEC told the Court that Seagal has deliberately failed to pay the rest of the outstanding money and also avoiding contact. The Court then asked SEC to apprise it how much money is outstanding against Seagal and what he had paid already. After acknowledging the default on the part of Seagal, Judge Kuntz, passed another order against Seagal.
In the recent order the Court has directed that arrangement be made to recover an amount of US$ 255,000 outstanding against the actor as disgorgement. While doing so, the Court has further imposed fines, penalties as well as interest upon the remaining amount. For this purpose, the Court has allowed SEC to ensure recovery of the amounts due. This would mean that SEC is authorized by the Court to ask Seagal’s business manager for the recovery of the outstanding sums. Upon this, SEC’s counsel enquired from the Court whether SEC can serve the notice to actor’s business manager in this context. The Court responded in “yes” and asked the counsel to proceed with sending the notice to his manager.
Failing to comply with the Court’s recent order either by Seagal or through his business manager may entail contempt proceedings.