SBF Expresses Displeasure over Last-Minute Evidence in Criminal Trial as FTX Explores AI Stock Sale

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has raised concerns about the prosecution’s failure to meet discovery deadlines, resulting in the absence of crucial evidence required for his defense against a multitude of fraud charges. In a letter addressed to United States District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan on June 5, Bankman-Fried’s legal team highlighted the government’s failure to provide the complete contents of five electronic devices, which were supposed to be disclosed by the end of March. Among these devices were the laptop and iPhone belonging to former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, as well as a laptop owned by FTX co-founder Gary Wang.

Bankman-Fried’s attorneys expressed their apprehension in the letter, stating, “As the trial date is now less than four months away, the defense is concerned that the late production of such voluminous and important discovery will impact the preparation of the defense.” Despite the upcoming trial on October 2, Bankman-Fried prefers not to adjourn the trial date. However, the letter suggests that additional motions may be filed if the newly produced evidence warrants such actions.

Furthermore, the letter pointed out that the government has also failed to provide information related to FTX debtors. These belated disclosures have had an accumulating effect, hindering the defense’s ability to adequately prepare for the trial. Astonishingly, the letter revealed the extent of the missing evidence, stating, “The five productions thus far are voluminous, totaling over 3.6 million documents and over 10 million pages.” The initial four productions encompassed approximately 1.1 million documents, while the most recent one, received by the defense on May 25, contained just under 2.5 million documents. This latest production alone more than tripled the number of documents in the existing discovery.

Meanwhile, in the midst of FTX’s tumultuous circumstances, reports have emerged that the bankers tasked with rescuing the embattled company are contemplating the sale of shares in a prominent artificial intelligence (AI) startup, riding the current wave of AI hype. On June 6, Semafor disclosed that Perella Weinberg, the investment banking firm retained by the bankrupt exchange, has been enticing potential investors with the prospect of acquiring hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of shares in the AI startup called Anthropic.

According to FTX’s balance sheets during its bankruptcy in November 2022, the company held $500 million worth of Anthropic stock, which is now estimated to be considerably more valuable given the flourishing AI industry. Anthropic recently concluded its Series C funding round on May 23, raising a substantial $450 million and achieving a reported valuation of $4.6 billion. This success further adds to the allure of investing in the company, making it an enticing opportunity for potential buyers.

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