Famous investor and Shark Tank cast Kevin O’Leary admitted that he got taken in by what he now describes as “groupthink” in his decision to invest in and publicly endorse the collapsed crypto exchange FTX.
In that context, O’Leary recently told CNBC that the cumulative total of $15 million he got from the firm to endorse it has been eaten away to zero. Kevin O’Leary said that he was paid nearly $15 million by FTX to promote the platform, and he chose to invest nearly $10 million of that back into crypto which is now worthless:
“Total deal was just under $15 million, all in…I put about $9.7 million into crypto. I think that’s what I lost. I don’t know. It’s all at zero.”
O’Leary confirmed that he had nearly $1 million in equity in the firm, all of which is now worthless due to the company having entered into bankruptcy proceedings. The remaining amount of almost $4 million is gone too, thanks to the different taxes and agent fees. The “Shark Tank” judge commented while stating the obvious:
“It was not a good investment.”
While Kevin O’Leary has already said that he has taken a bath on the FTX crypto exchange, his troubles in connection to his links with the platform may not be entirely over. He is among the many celebrities (including Tom Brady and Larry David) named in an ongoing lawsuit from FTX investors alleging they were duped by the high-profile endorsements to sink lots of money into a doomed company.
This suit claims that “unsophisticated investors from across the country” were mainly targeted by the firm’s promotional campaigns, sustaining up to $11 billion in damages in the process. It blames FTX exchange for hiring several celebrities like David and Kevin O’Leary “to raise funds and drive American consumers to invest in the [yield-bearing accounts]” provided by the platform.
Kevin O’Leary had been an enthusiastic proponent of FTX in the better times for the crypto exchange, having promoted it massively on many social media platforms.