Kevin O'Leary Reveals That He Was Paid $15M to Be FTX Spokesman… And Has Lost It All
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Kevin O'Leary Reveals That He Was Paid $15M to Be FTX Spokesman… And Has Lost It All

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"It's all at zero. I don't know because my account got scraped a couple of weeks ago — all the data, all the coins, everything."

Kevin O'Leary Reveals That He Was Paid $15M to Be FTX Spokesman… And Has Lost It All

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Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary has revealed that he was being paid $15 million to act as a spokesman for FTX — and he's lost it all after the exchange was tipped into bankruptcy.

Speaking to CNBC's Squawk Box, the multimillionaire admitted that he had made a "bad investment" — and said he and other institutional investors "look like idiots" after falling victim to "groupthink."

Breaking down the numbers, O'Leary revealed that he had invested $9.7 million from this deal into cryptocurrencies that were held on the doomed exchange.

"It's all at zero. I don't know because my account got scraped a couple of weeks ago — all the data, all the coins, everything."

To make matters worse, his $1 million equity stake in FTX has now fallen to zero, too — a fate that's likely shared by other celebrity endorsers such as Naomi Osaka and Tom Brady.

A number of A-listers who were involved in promoting the exchange in adverts — including O'Leary, Osaka, Brady and others such as Larry David — are facing lawsuits from aggrieved investors.

During the candid interview, O'Leary said:

"I don't make great investments all the time — luckily I make more good ones than bad ones, but that was a bad one."

Things got a little awkward when O'Leary was asked about a statement he made after becoming a spokesperson for FTX, in which he declared that the company had met "his own rigorous standards of compliance."

When asked about the type of diligence he had performed, O'Leary explained:

"[Institutional investors] relied on each other's due diligence but we also relied on another investment theme that I felt drove a lot of interest in FTX: Sam Bankman-Fried is an American. His parents are American compliance lawyers. There were no American, large exchanges to invest in if you wanted to invest in crypto as an infrastructure play."

O'Leary said that he was determined to find out where his money went because there are no accounting records — and revealed that he had spoken to Bankman-Fried last Saturday.

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