FTX Advisors Investigate Recovery of Pre-Collapse Payments to Shaq, Naomi Osaka, and More

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, Bloomberg reported, citing court documents.

While these disclosures do not provide a comprehensive overview of FTX’s endorsement spending, they shed light on how Bankman-Fried’s empire leveraged the fame of celebrity athletes, Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, and Formula 1 to enhance its brand visibility.

The extent to which FTX advisers believe the payments can be recovered, as well as whether any athletes or teams have already offered to return the funds, remains unknown.

FTX’s disclosures describe many of the transfers to athletes, teams, and leagues as prepayments associated with advertising or sponsorship agreements.

However, the exchange has cautioned that the financial disclosures may not be comprehensive due to a lack of detailed record-keeping.