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Kevin O’Leary has been cleared of any wrongdoing in a fraud lawsuit filed against him in September 2021, Page Six can confirm.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge made the ruling in favor of the “Shark Tank” star, 67, on Wednesday, according to court documents.
“Mr. O’Leary should have never been named in this suit,” his attorney Paul Sorrell exclusively tells Page Six. “The lawsuit had no merit and he was named just to give it some celebrity notoriety, and obviously we are pleased that the judge agreed with that.”
Sorell and his partner, Andrew Brettler, told TMZ that the judge tossed the case against their client because the court was not convinced O’Leary’s comments about crowdfunding were enough to dupe the alleged victims, and therefore he could not be held responsible.
On Sept. 1, 20 entrepreneurs sued O’Leary and his former “Shark Tank” co-star Kevin Harrington for fraud, claiming the investors had manipulated and defrauded them through the alleged use of “fictional executives, false promises of financial success and even illusions of being on the show ‘Shark Tank’ itself.”
The “predatory fraud scheme” was allegedly used to hire one of two companies: InventureX or Ideazon.
O’Leary told Page Six in a statement via his attorney at the onset of the suit, “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.”
The plaintiffs argued that O’Leary had appeared in promotional videos in which the Canadian businessman discussed “both InventureX and Ideazon,” weakening the argument that he did not know of the companies.
Harrington, 65, meanwhile, admitted to having participated in a video for InventureX but denied any involvement with the company beyond that.
O’Leary’s attorney Sorrell tells us in response to the video allegations against his client, “Yes, there were promotional videos made — that’s a typical thing. You have celebrity spokespersons pitching services and products all the time.”
He explains, however, that the judge ruled the videos were not sufficient evidence to convict O’Leary of fraud.
“These are not statements made to the [defendants],” Sorell says. “They go and search them out on the internet, and the judge said that under those circumstances, you’re not entitled justifiably to rely on those statements when your investment goes bad.”
Attorney Tre Lovell, who represents the plaintiffs in the case, did not immediately return Page Six’s request for comment on O’Leary’s dismissal.
Despite the latest ruling, the case remains open for other defendants.
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