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Shaquille O’Neal suing cannabis company over allegedly squandered $125K investment

Nov 25, 2021

It is a rare occasion that Shaquille O’Neal meets an endorsement deal he disagrees with, but not every investment has paid off for the Big Aristotle.

The former NBA superstar is suing a business partner after O’Neal’s 2016 investment in a legal cannabis company, identified as Viceroy LCC, was allegedly mismanaged, the Daily Mail reports.

According to court documents obtained by the Daily Mail, O’Neal invested US$100,000 ($126,500) into the business but a year later, the company had “no licenses, no revenue, and no operations.”

The suit was filed this week and includes a second investor, Jerome Crawford, who reportedly pumped US$50,000 ($63,200) into Viceroy. The defendants are identified as Darron Campbell, his LLC and 10 John Does.

In 2018, O’Neal and Crawford raised the lack of progress with Viceroy and asked to see the company’s financial statements and a business plan, among other documents. Campbell allegedly did not respond to the request.

O’Neal and Crawford then threatened legal action and Campbell agreed to buy back their shares in the company, plus interest.

“If acceptable, I would pay Mr. Crawford and Mr. O’Neal on the first day of each quarter, a minimum of $10,000 until paid in full,” the suit reportedly notes.

But it is alleged that Campbell only made the initial payment and still owes the plaintiffs US$130,000, plus 10 per cent interest on the missed payments.

O’Neal and Crawford are seeking more than US$1 million ($1.2 million) in repayment and damages.

O’Neal is far from the first person, or even former pro athlete, to get swindled (allegedly) by a cannabis company.

Last year, hockey legend Mark Messier filed a lawsuit against an Alberta-based cannabis company, Destiny Biosciences, after investing $500K into the company.

The company’s CEO, Ed Moroz, allegedly made a personal guarantee to Messier that he would not lose money and Messier went on to purchase 400,000 shares of the company for $1.25 a piece.

“Destiny was not a sure thing. Quite the opposite. It was a worthless company propped up by nothing more than Moroz’s grandiose promises,” Messier states in the lawsuit.

A year after his investment, the company was $42 million in debt and placed in receivership.

Despite that experience, Messier joined California-based NXT Water, makers of Akeso CBD water, as an equity partner and brand captain earlier this year. Messier reportedly works with the Akeso executive team on branding, advertising and marketing campaigns, as well as social and digital content, among other initiatives.

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It is a rare occasion that Shaquille O’Neal meets an endorsement deal he disagrees with, but not every investment has paid off for the Big Aristotle.

The former NBA superstar is suing a business partner after O’Neal’s 2016 investment in a legal cannabis company, identified as Viceroy LCC, was allegedly mismanaged, the Daily Mail reports.

According to court documents obtained by the Daily Mail, O’Neal invested US$100,000 ($126,500) into the business but a year later, the company had “no licenses, no revenue, and no operations.”

The suit was filed this week and includes a second investor, Jerome Crawford, who reportedly pumped US$50,000 ($63,200) into Viceroy. The defendants are identified as Darron Campbell, his LLC and 10 John Does.

In 2018, O’Neal and Crawford raised the lack of progress with Viceroy and asked to see the company’s financial statements and a business plan, among other documents. Campbell allegedly did not respond to the request.

O’Neal and Crawford then threatened legal action and Campbell agreed to buy back their shares in the company, plus interest.

“If acceptable, I would pay Mr. Crawford and Mr. O’Neal on the first day of each quarter, a minimum of $10,000 until paid in full,” the suit reportedly notes.

But it is alleged that Campbell only made the initial payment and still owes the plaintiffs US$130,000, plus 10 per cent interest on the missed payments.

O’Neal and Crawford are seeking more than US$1 million ($1.2 million) in repayment and damages.

O’Neal is far from the first person, or even former pro athlete, to get swindled (allegedly) by a cannabis company.

Last year, hockey legend Mark Messier filed a lawsuit against an Alberta-based cannabis company, Destiny Biosciences, after investing $500K into the company.

The company’s CEO, Ed Moroz, allegedly made a personal guarantee to Messier that he would not lose money and Messier went on to purchase 400,000 shares of the company for $1.25 a piece.

“Destiny was not a sure thing. Quite the opposite. It was a worthless company propped up by nothing more than Moroz’s grandiose promises,” Messier states in the lawsuit.

A year after his investment, the company was $42 million in debt and placed in receivership.

Despite that experience, Messier joined California-based NXT Water, makers of Akeso CBD water, as an equity partner and brand captain earlier this year. Messier reportedly works with the Akeso executive team on branding, advertising and marketing campaigns, as well as social and digital content, among other initiatives.

Subscribe to Weekend Dispensary, a new weekly newsletter from The GrowthOp.