Failing ventures and Twitter hiatus spark Tai Lopez bankruptcy concerns

Influencer, entrepreneur, and self-help guru Tai Lopez is having a very strange year. The usually loud and self-centered 46-year-old, well known for his videos showcasing his sports cars, mansions, and bookshelves, has gone uncharacteristically quiet on his social media — save for YouTube and Instagram, where he continues to push self-help podcasts and book reviews. So, what’s going on?

Lopez’s last post on Twitter roughly two months ago announced the sad news of his best friend’s passing. While it’s undoubtedly tragic to lose a loved one — and certainly a valid reason to take a social media hiatus — the loss isn’t the only explanation as to why Lopez’s posting has diminished.

On March 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that Lopez’s company, Retail Ecommerce Ventures, LLC, was struggling to stay afloat and seeking legal assistance from Kirkland and Ellis, the same law firm working with Celsius Network and Voyager Digital in their respective bankruptcy cases.

There has been no update since.

Buy low, sell lower

Lopez started Retail Ecommerce Ventures with fellow multimillionaire Alex Mehr. Throughout 2020 to 2022, Lopez boasted about his acquisitions, which included bankrupt companies like RadioShack, Pier1, Franklin Mint, and Modells. However, Lopez has refrained from discussing his business ventures in the past year and has shifted his focus to monetizing his audience through his “67 Step program” and answering questions related to energy levels.

Meanwhile, his business partner Mehr has deleted his Instagram profile and hasn’t posted on Facebook for nearly three years.

Many of the duo’s acquisitions, which are former retail brick-and-mortar stores transitioned into ecommerce companies, have once again fallen on hard times.

Pier1 Imports has gone from a home furniture and decoration chain to a seller of fragrances; The Franklin Mint has moved on from selling painted coins to hats, mugs, and sports memorabilia, and RadioShack — once a major electronics retailer in the US, attempted and failed to rebrand as a web3 company.

Read more: How wire fraud, not securities violations, lands crypto criminals in prison

RadioShack a sign of things to come

RadioShack may have been Lopez’s most successful venture into failed-business acquisitions. Its Twitter account quickly gained a substantial following due to provocative posts and trolling of critics. Unfortunately, two weeks after FTX’s collapse, the account fell silent and hasn’t been active since.

The electronics chain, which pinned its hopes on becoming a decentralized exchange and even spun up a token on the Binance Smart Chain, has shuttered Its crypto token, RADIO, has plummeted from a high of $0.037 to $0.00065 — a loss of 98%.

So while it’s impossible to say if Lopez or Retail Ecommerce Ventures will be bankrupt soon, it’s quite clear that all of his acquisitions are struggling. Not to mention, Lopez’s pleas for people to contact him about selling their companies “doesn’t inspire confidence,” as one online commentator noted.

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