Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers seek to introduce evidence about Anthropic stake

Quick Take

  • Bankman-Fried’s counsel hopes to present evidence that shows “positive investment outcomes” to rebut the argument from the prosecutors that Alameda’s venture capital investment strategy was wasteful or reckless.
  • Bankman-Fried’s 2022 investment in AI firm Anthropic, whose valuation has increased thanks to fresh funding rounds, could result in a full payout for FTX creditors, a crypto bankruptcy lawyer said last week.

Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried have asked the court to approve the use of evidence related to his investment in Anthropic, an artificial intelligence startup that recently raised fresh funding.

In a letter submitted to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, Bankman-Fried’s counsel said the prosecutors’ Sunday request to exclude mentions of Anthropic “miscasts the relevance of the evidence.”

“Evidence of the current value of the Anthropic investment is squarely relevant to rebutting the Government’s opening statement and testimony to date, as well as Mr. Bankman-Fried’s good-faith,” the attorneys for the failed crypto exchange founder wrote in the filing.

His lawyers added that the prosecutors have “repeatedly” raised Alameda’s venture investments during the trial and argued that Alameda’s and Bankman-Fried’s investments were, among other things, “risky” and “losing money.”

In response, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys said that they should be allowed to elicit testimony from Caroline Ellison about the portfolio nature of venture capital investing. “Here, the significant appreciation in Anthropic since last year reflects this important context and is relevant to testimony that the Government has elicited from Ms. Ellison concerning expected value analyses,” the lawyers continued.

In its Sunday filing, the Department of Justice said that Bankman-Fried invested about $500 million in 2022 in Anthropic “using funds that the Government alleges were stolen from FTX customers.”


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“Evidence regarding the current value of the defendant’s investments could only be used to support the argument that FTX customers and/or other victims will ultimately be made whole, which the Court has recognized is an impermissible purpose,” the DOJ added.

Anthropic’s fresh funding

Anthropic raised fresh funds from Google and other investors last week that could potentially boost its valuation to as much as $30 billion, The Information reported last week.

Such an increase in valuation could “make it possible” for FTX to log a “100% recovery rate” in assets as part of the failed crypto exchange’s bankruptcy proceedings given Bankman-Fried’s stake in the company, Kunchou Tsai, managing partner of Taiwan-based Enlighten Law Group, recently told The Block.

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

Timmy Shen is an Asia reporter for The Block. Previously, he wrote about crypto and Web3 for Forkast.News from Taiwan after spending more than three years in Beijing covering finance and current affairs at Caixin Global and Chinese tech at TechNode. His China-related reporting has also appeared in The Guardian. When he's not chasing headlines, you'll find him savoring hot pot and shabu shabu in a Taipei local haunt. Timmy holds an MS degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Send tips to [email protected] or get in touch on X/Telegram @timmyhmshen.


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