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."
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.
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