Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX is probing if it can reclaim the millions of dollars paid to celebrity athletes and sports teams that promoted the exchange before it filed for bankruptcy last November.
In an over 180 page Aug. 31 court filing, FTX’s financial advisors laid out a detailed list of high-profile figures and businesses it paid in its marketing efforts to see if they’re under rules allowing bankrupt companies to reverse the payments.
The list includes $750,000 made to former basketball pro Shaquille O’Neal, over $300,000 to Tennis pro Naomi Osaka, over $270,000 to former baseball star David Ortiz and over $200,000 to American football quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Also included are nearly $420,000 made to pro basketball team the Golden State Warriors and over $250,000 in various payments to Miami Heat.
The filing warned, however, that the final amount FTX may recover from the efforts “may vary materially from the amount reported.”
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Many of the celebrities named in FTX’s recent filing have faced class action lawsuits from FTX users seeking damages.
O’Neal, Osaka and the Golden State Warriors have been sued by groups of FTX customers over allegedly promoting the exchange — which they claim sold unregistered securities.
The exchange has launched a series of lawsuits to try recover funds with the most recent on Sep. 9 against cross-chain protocol LayerZero Labs in a bid to claw back $21 million that FTX alleged was illegally withdrawn prior to the exchange’s bankruptcy in November last year.
In July it sued co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried and other former top executives to try to recover more than $1 billion in funds they allegedly misappropriated.
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