scorecardFTX is hoping to claw back the millions of dollars spent on celebrity promotions including Shaq and Naomi Osaka
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FTX is hoping to claw back the millions of dollars spent on celebrity promotions including Shaq and Naomi Osaka

Pete Syme   

FTX is hoping to claw back the millions of dollars spent on celebrity promotions including Shaq and Naomi Osaka
CryptocurrencyCryptocurrency1 min read
  • FTX is hoping to recover the millions it paid in sponsorships.
  • Shaquille O'Neal and Naomi Osaka are among those who could be told to return huge sums to FTX.

FTX is looking into whether it can reclaim the millions of dollars in sponsorship deals given out to celebrity endorsers to promote the now-bankrupt crypto exchange, court filings show.

Shaquille O'Neal, Stephen Curry, Naomi Osaka, and Major League Baseball are among those who could be told to return huge sums to FTX.

Financial advisers hired by FTX said in court papers that they are determining whether those payments can be recovered in Chapter 11.

FTX imploded last November after customers withdrew funds when a leaked balance sheet suggested its finances had been commingled with Alameda, its sister hedge fund. But the company couldn't cover all the demand, partly due to lavish spending by FTX executives.

In April, lawyers said FTX had recovered $7.3 billion so far.

One of FTX's affiliates said it paid $2.5 million to a company associated with O'Neal about three months before filing for bankruptcy, per a court filing. The NBA big man received about $4.3 million from FTX in total, according to Bloomberg, which first reported on the court documents.

Many of the celebrities have faced lawsuits from FTX customers who accuse them of promoting an untrustworthy service. Lawyers struggled for months to find Shaq, before the former basketball player said papers were inadequately served because they were "tossed" at his moving car.

Bloomberg reports that the tennis player Naomi Osaka was paid $3.2 million for FTX partnerships, $2 million of which was transferred just two days before the crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy.

A further $4.9 million given to MLB, where umpires wore FTX adverts on their sleeves, was also disclosed, plus $12.2 million to the Mercedes Formula 1 team.

The FTX Debtors declined to comment. Representatives for O'Neal and Osaka did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.




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