Kevin O’Leary and Kevin Harrington have been accused of swindling entrepreneurs.
The businessmen were slammed with a lawsuit from 20 entrepreneurs across the US alleging that the pair worked together to defraud people allegedly using “fictional executives, false promises of financial success, and even illusions of being on the show Shark Tank itself.”
Legal documents revealed that the pair allegedly used a “predatory fraud scheme to induce inventors and entrepreneurs to hire one of two companies, InventureX or Ideazon.” The entrepreneurs claim they were asked to invest financial resources into them and in return were “promised that they would receive help with crowd funding to start their businesses.”
The entrepreneurs, however, didn’t receive any help or support after paying InventureX and Ideazon. The documents state: “These companies turned out to be nothing less than facades designed to lure in unsuspecting victims, extract their money and then virtually disappear under the guise of delays, minimal to no performance, and no results.”
The lawsuit alleges that it is possible the companies don’t even exist or could both be a front to scam potential investors.
A probe into InventureX and Ideazon revealed: “They used the same success stories, same percentage rates of success, same marketing/promotional ideas, same promises/representations, same agreements, same bank accounts and one entity pulling both their strings: Defendant Crowdfund, LLC.”
Harrington who regularly made an appearance on the first two seasons of Shark Tank is listed as a partner and primary executive of InventureX,” while O’Leary, who has been on the panel since 2009, allegedly “endorsed and recommended” the same two companies.
The Plaintiffs who filed the suit claim their losses was worth thousands of dollars per Plaintiff. The lawsuit is asking for damages, economic loss, emotional distress and legal fees to be paid by the two reality TV stars.
According to TMZ, the 20 Plaintiffs attached to the suit represent only a small portion of potential victims. The number is expected to rise into hundreds.