– FTX Group advisers are investigating the possibility of reclaiming payments made to celebrities for endorsements of Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency platform.
– The payments made to celebrities, including Shaquille O’Neal and Naomi Osaka, are being examined to determine if they can be recovered under bankruptcy rules.
– FTX leveraged the fame of celebrity athletes, MLB, NBA teams, and Formula 1 to enhance its brand visibility.
– The extent of potential recovery and whether athletes or teams have offered to return the funds is unknown.
– FTX’s financial disclosures may not be comprehensive due to a lack of detailed record-keeping.
– Payments were made to MLB, Formula 1 racing team Mercedes-AMG Petronas, NBA’s Golden State Warriors, and Stephen Curry’s business SC30 Inc.
– Alvarez & Marsal, FTX’s financial adviser, has analyzed the possibility of reversing payments to the Golden State Warriors.
– FTX affiliate West Realm Shires Services Inc. revealed payments made to O’Neal and Osaka before the bankruptcy filing.
– Other athletes mentioned in FTX’s disclosures include Trevor Lawrence and David Ortiz.
– FTX has taken legal action to recover funds invested in Kives and his venture capital firm.
– The complaint claims that Bankman-Fried sent millions to Kives, K5 Global, and Baum after attending a social event hosted by Kives in 2022.
– FTX has sought the return of funds transferred from Alameda Research to SGN Albany Capital and from Kives, Baum, and SGN Albany Capital to Mount Olympus Capital.
FTX Group advisers are investigating the possibility of reclaiming millions of dollars paid to celebrities, including Shaquille O’Neal and Naomi Osaka, for their endorsements of Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency platform before its collapse. The financial advisers hired by FTX have examined the payments made to these athletes to determine if they can be recovered under the rules that allow companies to reverse transactions executed just before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
FTX’s endorsements with celebrities and sports teams were a key strategy to boost its brand visibility. The payments made to athletes, teams, and leagues included prepayments associated with advertising or sponsorship agreements. However, FTX has acknowledged that its financial disclosures may not be comprehensive due to a lack of detailed record-keeping and unreliable financial information at the time of filing for bankruptcy.
According to FTX’s disclosures, the company paid approximately $4.9 million to Major League Baseball, $12.2 million to the Formula 1 racing team Mercedes-AMG Petronas, $3.4 million to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, and nearly $242,000 to Stephen Curry’s business. FTX has indicated that some of these payments may potentially be reversed under Chapter 11.
Other athletes mentioned in the disclosures include Trevor Lawrence, the quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who allegedly received a $500,000 payment, and retired Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz, who received around $600,000 for his charity supporting children’s heart surgeries.
These disclosures come after FTX’s legal action to recover the estimated $700 million that Bankman-Fried had invested in Kives and his venture capital firm, K5. FTX has sought the return of funds transferred to various entities involved in the case.
The extent to which FTX advisers believe the payments can be recovered and whether any athletes or teams have offered to return the funds remain unknown. The investigation into the endorsement payments is ongoing, and it is yet to be seen what actions FTX will take to reclaim the money.
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