Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary is hitting back at accusations he's scammed hundreds, if not thousands, of entrepreneurs out of money.
RadarOnline.com has obtained a statement from the businessman via his lawyer, in which he claims someone is using his identity without his permission in what has been called a "diabolical and brazen scam."
Denying any involvement in the alleged scam, O'Leary's statement reads, “It appears that someone has been using my name and likeness without my knowledge, permission, or consent. I’ve never heard of any of these purported companies and have never conducted business with any of the plaintiffs who filed this suit."
He also assured the alleged victims that he will get to the bottom of the mess. "Obviously, I want to get to the bottom of it too, as my rights have been violated. We will makes [sic] sure that the bad actors are held accountable," O'Leary's statement added.
In the lawsuit, the popular entrepreneurs-turned-TV-personalities are being accused of fraud by two dozen business owners who say they were duped into false promises of success.
The documents point out two companies — InventureX and Ideazon — who allegedly claimed to be crowdfunding businesses but "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."
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The plaintiffs claim they "were lured by the involvement, endorsement and credibility of Shark Tank stars Kevin Harrington and Kevin O’Leary" and were even given "illusions of being on the show Shark Tank itself."
"Relying on these Shark Tank powerhouses, Plaintiffs bought into the dream, paid their money, and then went through agonizing months, if not years, of frustration and distress of trying to get their products launched and businesses started with no results. Ultimately, once the scam was revealed, these victims spent more agonizing frustration trying to get their money back to receive just more lies and deception," the lawsuit reads.
Accusing O'Leary of endorsing "people who didn’t exist" and "fraudulent and illegitimate businesses," the lawsuit claims the Shark Tank duo are the faces of a "fraud scheme with victims across the world."
The alleged victims are suing the businessmen for "fraud," "negligence," "breach of written contract," and "intentional infliction of emotional distress."