Could FTX’s Anthropic investment recoup lost billions? Prosecutors say it’s irrelevant

The US government filed a letter late Sunday with the court to block Sam Bankman-Fried and his legal team from bringing up his $500 million investment in Anthropic AI.

Bankman-Fried’s fraud trial is underway, where he faces seven federal charges. 

The government claims that the Anthropic investment should not be brought up because it’s not relevant to the alleged crimes or fraud that Bankman-Fried is accused of committing. 

Bankman-Fried’s team is, according to lawyers for the Department of Justice, interested in where the $500 million Anthropic investment stands now. 

Read more: SBF said FTX was not ‘bulletproof’ months before demise, testimony reveals

Regardless of whether the investment has increased, the money used to invest in the AI company came out of the pockets of FTX customers, which means that it’s irrelevant to the ongoing trial, prosecutors said. 

This would not be “a defense to the charges in this case if the defendant invested stolen FTX money believing that the investments would ultimately be so lucrative that he could pay back the stolen money,” prosecutors said.

Read more: Co-founder Wang says FTX code allowed Alameda’s ‘unlimited withdrawals’

FTX invested in Anthropic AI back in April 2022. Last month, Amazon announced that it plans to invest up to $4 billion in the AI company, an investment that could see the company’s valuation increase enough to boost FTX’s stake, and therefore pay back creditors. 

“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,” the DOJ argued.

Bankman-Fried’s trial is set to last roughly six weeks, though it may face a longer timeframe since lawyers for the government already alerted the judge that they’re running slightly behind schedule. 

So far, FTX’s co-founder, Bankman-Fried’s former roommate, a victim of FTX and Paradigm’s Matt Huang have all taken the stand. Former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison is set to take the stand later this week.

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