Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has expressed concerns that prosecutors have failed to meet discovery deadlines, resulting in the absence of crucial evidence for his defense against a series of fraud charges.
Bankman-Fried’s legal team informed US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan via a letter on June 5 that the government had not provided the contents of five electronic devices due for discovery by the end of March.
The devices in question include a laptop and iPhone belonging to former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and a laptop owned by FTX co-founder Gary Wang.
Bankman-Fried’s attorneys expressed their apprehensions, 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.”
Scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 2, Bankman-Fried faces fraud charges, allegations of illegal political donations, and accusations of bribing the Chinese government.
Despite the missing evidence, Bankman-Fried is opposed to adjourning the trial date. However, the letter mentioned that additional motions might be filed if the newly produced discovery uncovers grounds for new legal actions.
Furthermore, Bankman-Fried’s legal team highlighted that the government has also failed to provide information related to FTX debtors. The delayed production of these documents is seen to have a cumulative effect on the defense’s ability to prepare for trial adequately.
Astonishingly, the five productions received so far amount to over 3.6 million documents and more than 10 million pages. The most recent production, delivered to the defense on May 25, includes just under 2.5 million papers, significantly expanding the existing discovery.
FTX bankers eye sale of AI company shares
Meanwhile, reports have surfaced that FTX bankers, entrusted with rescuing the beleaguered company, are contemplating cashing out their shares in a company affiliated with the highly anticipated artificial intelligence sector.
It is said that the cryptocurrency exchange currently holds shares worth over $500 million in Anthropic, a company launched in 2021 by former OpenAI employees.
Anthropic made headlines after the launch of its Claude AI platform in March, following a $400 million investment from Google earlier this year. In a subsequent funding round in May, Anthropic raised an additional $450 million in Series C funding, with Spark Capital leading the investment.
FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November, and a month later, founder Sam Bankman-Fried was charged with money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
In January, a federal judge overseeing FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings granted permission to sell off certain assets to repay creditors. Weinberg, an official associated with the matter, is reportedly considering whether to sell FTX’s entire position in Anthropic, as suggested by Semafor, a source close to the situation.