Shark Tank stars Kevin O’Leary and Kevin Harrington have been sued by a group of 20 disgruntled entrepreneurs who claim they were scammed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs believed they had been deliberately scammed out of their money after being steered to invest money in one of two companies by Harrington and O’Leary in order to crowdfund to get their startups off the ground, but the payoff never came. The suit requests payment from the two Shark Tank stars to cover damages, economic loss, emotional distress, and legal fees.
Kevin O’Leary, Kevin Harrington Under Fire In New Lawsuit
A new lawsuit filed by 20 people has accused Kevin O’Leary and Kevin Harrington of fraud and deliberately steering them towards crowdfunding companies that never returned their investment, instead, sticking them with a hefty bill. Court documents obtained by Entertainment Tonight, Harrington and O’Leary have been accused of working with one another to defraud people via the alleged use of “fictional executives, false promises of financial success, and even illusions of being on the show Shark Tank itself.”
The lawsuit didn’t shy away from the specifics of O’Leary and Harrington’s efforts to defraud the plaintiffs through a “predatory fraud scheme to induce inventors and entrepreneurs to hire one of two companies, InventureX or Ideazon.” The entrepreneurial hopefuls claimed they’d been “promised that they would receive help with crowdfunding to start their businesses” if they invested their financial resources into the companies, but after investing, they didn’t get any of the assistance they’d been promised.
Questions Raised About Crowdfunding Companies Pushed By ‘Shark Tank’ Stars
The court documents list Harrington as a “partner and primary executive of InventureX” while O’Leary allegedly “endorsed and recommended” the two companies. Now the plaintiffs claim they’ve begun to doubt that either company is real and alleged that they could have been started as a way to scam upstart investors. According to the documents, the plaintiffs say their losses could number in the hundreds of thousands per person.
Though only 20 people are part of the suit thus far, TMZ reports that the plaintiffs claim there could be hundreds, or even thousands, of others affected by the “predatory fraud scheme.” O’Leary first joined Shark Tank in 2009 and has been a part of the series ever since. Harrington took part in the reality show for its first two seasons. Neither O’Leary nor Harrington have commented on the lawsuit yet, but it was only made public on September 1, so there will doubtless be a statement in the coming days.