Prosecutors have asked Judge Lewis Kaplan to prevent former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried from discussing the current value of his investment in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic. The Department of Justice said whether creditors could be repaid is irrelevant when considering whether Bankman-Fried committed fraud, according to a new filing on Sunday.
In April 2022, Anthropic raised $580 million in a Series B funding round led by Bankman-Fried with participation from Caroline Ellison, the former head of FTX sister firm Alameda Research, and former FTX engineering head Nishad Singh. A liquidity crisis at Alameda Research was made public in a CoinDesk report in October and FTX filed for bankruptcy protection the following month.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that Anthropic was in talks to raise $2 billion following a lucrative deal with Amazon, which had FTX creditors wondering if Bankman-Fried’s investments could make them whole.
“The current value of the Anthropic shares could only go to the question of whether customers will ultimately be made whole, which is immaterial to whether the defendant committed the alleged fraud,” argued prosecutors in the filing with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. “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.”
Bankman-Fried’s trial began last week in Manhattan. The first week included bombshell testimonies and an inside look at the multibillion-dollar collapse of the crypto exchange giant.