FacebookTwitterLinkedInTelegramCopy LinkEmail

Inside the FTX Crypto Scandal: O’Leary’s Million-Dollar Gig

Inside the FTX Crypto Scandal: O’Leary’s Million-Dollar Gig

Kevin O'Leary, the well-known investor and "Shark Tank" TV personality, reportedly received a substantial $1 million per hour for promoting the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange, FTX.

According to Coffeezila, an investigator in blockchain, O’Leary earned $15.7 million for various promotional services to boost the Sam Bankman-Fried exchange, which eventually collapsed in November 2022.

O’Leary served as a paid spokesperson for FTX during Q4 2022, although the exact start date of his involvement is unclear. By November 2022, FTX had collapsed, resulting in over $8 billion in customer losses. During this time, Bitcoin (BTC) saw a flash crash to $15,800 before rebounding. O’Leary invested $10 million in FTX and actively promoted it through social media.

Despite the exchange’s failure, O’Leary defended his due diligence, calling it a “costly mistake.” Criticism arose over his failure to identify issues with the exchange, with Taylor Swift even questioning the $100 million deal. Legal actions were taken, with Taylor Swift researching potential legal violations.

O’Leary’s potential legal consequences for securities violations are uncertain. Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, faced SEC charges for defrauding investors while operating the exchange from the Bahamas.

READ MORE: Bitcoin 2025: The Quest for New All-Time Highs

O’Leary’s substantial payments for promoting FTX coincided with Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial, which began on October 3. The trial, lasting six weeks, involves seven charges, including wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering.

Prosecutors alleged that over $8 billion in customer funds were funneled to Alameda, a trading arm linked to FTX, through a code backdoor.

Whether Bankman-Fried will testify remains uncertain, but key witnesses, such as his former girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, and former MIT roommate, Gary Wang, are expected. If found guilty, Bankman-Fried could face up to 100 years in prison.

Alexander Stefanov

Reporter at CoinsPress

Alex is an experienced finance journalist and a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast. With over five years of experience covering the industry, he deeply understands the complex and constantly evolving world of digital assets. His insightful and thought-provoking articles provide readers with a clear picture of the latest developments and trends in the market. His passionate approach allows him to break down complex ideas into accessible and insightful content. Follow up on his content to be up to date with the most important trends and topics - stay ahead of the curve with CoinsPress.

Learn more about crypto and blockchain technology.