DOJ Seeks to Exclude Anthropic AI Funding in Sam Bankman-Fried Court Case

Police & Regulations
Oct 10, 2023 at 08:15 am

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is contending that Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, should be prohibited from using Anthropic's recent fundraising activities as a defense strategy. The DOJ argues that the $500 million invested in Anthropic last year originated from customer funds, rendering it an inappropriate line of defense.

Discussions between the DOJ and the defense team in preparation for Bankman-Fried's trial have made progress on several issues. However, there remains a dispute regarding whether arguments concerning Anthropic's fundraising endeavors can be raised. According to the filing, any evidence regarding the current value of Bankman-Fried’s investments could only be used to bolster the argument that FTX customers or other victims will ultimately be compensated, which the Court deems impermissible.

Previously, the DOJ attempted to prevent Bankman-Fried's defense from asserting that FTX creditors would recover most, if not all, of their funds.

The filing further emphasized that the indictment alleges wire fraud, stating that Bankman-Fried misused FTX customer deposits for investments and other expenses. The profitability of those investments is considered irrelevant to the charges. Additionally, it would not be a valid defense if Bankman-Fried believed that the investments would ultimately yield such substantial returns that he could repay the misappropriated money.

Recent reports disclose that Anthropic holds a potentially lucrative agreement with Amazon, estimated at up to $4 billion. The company is also in discussions to secure an additional $2 billion in funding.

Almost a year ago, when FTX filed for bankruptcy, it obtained a stake in Anthropic valued at $500 million. However, the company's bankruptcy trustee has not yet divested this holding.

Thomas Braziel, the founder and CEO of advisory firm 117 Partners, conveyed optimism about the fundraising efforts, considering them a favorable turn of events for FTX creditors. He characterized it as a "remarkable development."

Read more: The FTX Founder's Trial: Unveiling the Intriguing Testimonies and Alarming Financial Shenanigans

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