Tanked – Shark Tank’s “Mr. Wonderful” Investigated in FTX Scandal
On Friday, Kevin O’Leary, a star of the TV show ‘Shark Tank’, defended his role as a spokesperson for the bankrupt cryptocurrency firm FTX. CNBC asked O’Leary if he still considered himself a venture investor, to which O’Leary responded that he has a sizeable advisory business. When asked if he thinks Bankman-Fried’s actions were fraudulent, O’Leary said he does not have the facts and that the new FTX CEO, John Ray, is working to gather them. O’Leary’s defense of Bankman-Fried and his paid ambassadorship for FTX raised questions about his involvement with the company. O’Leary stated that he lost $10 million when he invested in FTX as part of his compensation for serving as a spokesperson. Still, CNBC pointed out that O’Leary did not invest his funds and instead used his name as a venture investor.
O’Leary defended himself by saying that he has 54 companies in his portfolio and that FTX had to open a round specifically for him. However, CNBC pointed out that O’Leary had a front-row seat to the events leading up to Bankman-Fried’s arrest and questioned whether O’Leary thought the situation was a fraud. O’Leary stated that he needs to have all the facts and is willing to fund a forensic audit to examine FTX’s accounts. It remains to be seen how the situation with FTX and Bankman-Fried will play out, and more information may become known as the investigation continues. Moreover, O’Leary maintained that he believes in the justice system and the presumption of innocence. When asked why he did not more strongly condemn Bankman-Fried, O’Leary said, “This is America. The justice system provides the presumption of innocence unless proven otherwise.”
What do you think about Kevin O’Leary and his investment in FTX? Will this affect the prominent Shark Tank VC?
Want to learn how to invest? Download the Invstr app, where you can play Fantasy Finance and manage a virtual investment portfolio or open a brokerage account and invest for real. Take our interactive investing course on Invstr Academy and become a better investor today!
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.