Kevin O'Leary says he lost almost $10 million in the FTX collapse, and that the exchange had paid him $15 million to be a spokesman

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Kevin O'Leary.Mark Davis / Staff / Getty Images
  • Kevin O'Leary was paid $15 million by FTX to be a spokesman for the failed crypto exchange.

  • O'Leary told CNBC that he personally had $9.7 million in crypto tokens on the FTX platform that has since been wiped out to $0. 

  • O'Leary also owned a $1 million equity stake in FTX that has since been wiped out as the company filed for bankruptcy.

Kevin O'Leary was paid about $15 million by FTX to be a spokesman for the failed crypto exchange, he said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday.

O'Leary also said he had $9.7 million worth of crypto tokens in his FTX account that has since been wiped out to $0 amid the company's implosion. O'Leary also owned a $1 million equity stake in FTX that has since been wiped out after the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last month.

"The institutional interest in FTX on the US equity was unbelievable. The amount of people that approached me saying 'How do I get a piece of this deal?' And I said at that time, 'I'm a paid spokesperson, I cannot bring you in as an LP.' Not a single dollar that I lost was anyone else's money except for mine," O'Leary said.

O'Leary admits that his investment was ultimately a bad one, and that he, along with most other people, was blindsided by the gross mismanagement of billions of dollars at FTX.

"We all look like idiots. We relied on each other's due diligence," O'Leary said, highlighting the groupthink among institutional investors who wanted a piece of the once-hot crypto exchange.

Despite vaporizing billions of dollars, O'Leary hasn't condemned Bankman-Fried outright, stating this week that an audit needs to be conducted before anyone can say the FTX founder is guilty of anything.

"There's only the murder of my money in this case... If you want to say he's guilty before he's tried, I just don't understand it," O'Leary said. "You don't know, because you have no data. All I'm saying is let's do the forensic audit."

Now, O'Leary is on a quest to do exactly that and find out exactly where his and FTX customers' money ultimately went.

O'Leary said he talked to Bankman-Fried last weekend and said, "Look Sam, I am just one investor, but my account has a zero in it, and there are no accounting records. Where did the money go?"

"I need to find where the money went," O'Leary said.

Read the original article on Business Insider