San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito was reportedly scammed out of $3 million by a company called dotFIT, started by Zito's friend Michael Clark. Zito invested $3 million into the company, which also counts Madonna and Dr. Oz as investors. He thought he'd be getting a 15 percent stake in the company for his investment, but instead, his money was put toward paying off outstanding debts the company had. Big League Stew has the nitty gritty.
Zito claims Clark used their longtime friendship to entice Barry Zito Enterprises (BZE) into investing $3 million in dotFIT.
He claims Clark told him that dotFIT "was in the midst of a $20 million equity campaign that would allow dotFIT to exploit a valuable software interface (which dotFIT owned) and market it to health clubs worldwide."
"Clark further explained that he had others ready to invest and that if BZE did not act fast, it would lose its investment opportunity. But dotFIT now claims that it never sought to raise $20 million in equity (and never had $20 million in capital)," Zito says in the complaint.
This is some pretty wild stuff, and the ties to Madonna that the company has are even more bizarre, with another third party company involved.
Zito claims that two weeks after Lafayette sold its interest in dotFIT, Lafayette's puppet company NEFC sold 12.5 percent of its interest in dotFIT to pop star Madonna for $625,000. NEFC sold another 12.5 percent of its interest to Go Mav, LLC for the same price a few weeks later, according to the complaint.
Madonna is not a party to the complaint.
As for Dr. Oz, dotFIT was sold to a company in 2011 called ShareCare founded by him and WebMD founder Jeffrey Arnold, neither of whom are being sued by Zito.
This is just another example of people taking advantage of athletes who sign large contracts, and Zito is neither the first nor the last to be involved in a situation like this. Zito signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Giants in December 2006 that will be expiring at the end of the 2013 season, and while he may have not been worth all of that contract to the Giants, it's still no excuse for him get to get scammed out of his money by a supposed friend.