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.”
“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.
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