SBF’s prosecutors seek to forbid any mention of Anthropic

Quick Take

  • In a filing late Sunday night, federal prosecutors in the fraud trial of Sam Bankman-Fried asked that the judge forbid any discussion of Anthropic, an AI company in which Bankman-Fried was an investor. 
  • Anthropic’s reported recent fundraises from Google and Amazon could lead to a substantial financial recovery for the victims of the FTX collapse. 

Recent media reports that AI startup Anthropic will receive billions in fundraising from Google, just weeks after announcing a similar investment from Amazon, has led to widespread optimism from the creditors of FTX for a substantial financial recovery, given ex-FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried's investment in the company. 

Yet one party is less than thrilled: the prosecutors in Bankman-Fried's ongoing fraud trial. Late Sunday night, Assistant US Attorney Thane Rehn filed a motion asking Judge Lewis A. Kaplan to forbid Bankman-Fried from bringing up Anthropic in his trial.

Rehn cited an earlier circumstance in which Judge Kaplan ruled, "It is immaterial as a matter of law whether [Bankman-Fried] intended to repay the misappropriated funds," and argued in his filing that "such evidence would therefore be wholly irrelevant, and present a substantial danger of unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, and waste of time."


Keep up with the latest news, trends, charts and views on crypto and DeFi with a new biweekly newsletter from The Block's Frank Chaparro

By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Rehn also noted that venture capital investments are speculative, pointing to a familiar example. "To take one salient example, FTX itself raised similar venture investments at valuations of around $18 billion in 2021 and around $32 billion in 2022 and yet today its shares are worth nothing," the filing stated. 

The defense has yet to file a response. Bankman-Fried's trial will resume on Tuesday with the cross-examination of Alameda Research and FTX co-founder Gary Wang and potentially the first testimony of Alameda Research ex-CEO Caroline Ellison. 

Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Zack Abrams is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. Before coming to The Block, he was the Head Writer at Coinage, a Web3 media outlet covering the biggest stories in Web3. The story he co-reported on Do Kwon won a 2022 Best in Business Journalism award from SABEW. Other projects included a deep dive into SBF's defense based on exclusive documents and unveiling the identity of the hacker behind one of 2023's biggest crypto hacks — so far. He can be reached via X @zackdabrams or email, [email protected].


To contact the editor of this story:
Ryan Weeks at
[email protected]