SBF upset by late evidence in criminal trial, FTX seeks AI stock sale.
The former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has stated that prosecutors have missed deadlines for providing key pieces of evidence required for his defense against a number of fraud charges. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers informed United States District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in a letter on June 5 that the government had not provided all the contents of five electronic devices that were due for discovery by the end of March. These devices included a laptop and iPhone belonging to former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, and a laptop belonging to FTX co-founder Gary Wang. Bankman-Fried’s attorneys expressed concern that the late production of such important evidence would impact the preparation of the defense, as the trial date is now less than four months away. Bankman-Fried is due to face court on Oct. 2 and additional motions may be filed “if the newly produced discovery provides grounds for new motions,” according to the letter.
The letter also revealed that the government had failed to provide information related to FTX debtors, and that the late productions have a cumulative effect on the defense’s ability to properly prepare for trial. The five productions thus far total more than 3.6 million documents and over 10 million pages. The first four productions included around 1.1 million documents and the last one, received by the defense on May 25, includes just under 2.5 million documents “which more than triples the documents in the existing discovery.”
Bankman-Fried is facing a litany of fraud charges, claims of illegal political donations, and bribes to the Chinese government. However, he does not want to adjourn the trial date. Meanwhile, FTX bankers tasked with bailing out the embattled company are reportedly looking towards cashing out shares in a company that’s part of the currently hyped artificial intelligence sector. Investment banking firm Perella Weinberg, on retainer to the bankrupt exchange, has been “teasing the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars of shares” in AI startup Anthropic to potential investors. According to FTX balance sheets at the time of its bankruptcy in November 2022, the company held $500 million worth of Anthropic stock which is estimated to be worth much more now the AI boom is in full swing. Anthropic raised $450 million in its latest Series C funding round on May 23, at a reported valuation of $4.6 billion.