LOS ANGELES, CA – (Diya TV) – Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai appeared in a New York federal court on Friday, offering testimony that directly contradicted claims made by Carlos Watson, co-founder of the now-defunct Ozy Media. Watson stands accused of fraud, with allegations centering on misleading investors regarding Ozy’s financial health and purported interest from Google for an acquisition.

During the proceedings, Pichai categorically denied any consideration by Google to acquire Ozy Media. He addressed Watson’s assertion of a potential $600 million acquisition offer from Google as unfounded, stating emphatically that such discussions never took place. Pichai clarified that while there were talks about potentially hiring Watson to oversee news programming at Google, any notion of acquisition was never part of the conversation. He noted that a proposed $25 million investment in Ozy was contingent upon Watson joining Google, a deal which ultimately did not materialize.

The trial originates from a 2021 incident involving Ozy’s former COO, Samir Rao, who admitted to impersonating a YouTube executive during a call with Goldman Sachs bankers. Rao’s deception aimed to bolster Ozy’s standing and secure a $35 million investment. His fraudulent actions, including misrepresenting Ozy’s relationship with YouTube, led Goldman Sachs to withdraw from the investment deal after discovering the deceit.

Testimony from Goldman Sachs bankers described the call with Rao as unsettling, noting that his voice sounded “unnatural” and “not human.” This revelation underscored the severity of the deception perpetrated by Ozy executives to lure investments under false pretenses.

Further complicating matters, Suzee Han, Ozy’s former chief of staff, also pleaded guilty to fraud charges related to falsifying financial records and misguiding investors about Ozy’s performance under Watson’s leadership. Han’s admission corroborated the prosecution’s stance that fraudulent practices were systemic within Ozy Media, casting a shadow over the credibility of its operations during Watson’s tenure.

As the trial progresses, the prosecution continues to build its case against Watson, who maintains his innocence in the face of mounting evidence and testimonies implicating his involvement in misleading investors. The proceedings have shed light on the inner workings of Ozy Media and the lengths to which its executives allegedly went to portray a facade of success and corporate interest.

The courtroom drama underscores the challenges and ethical pitfalls in the realm of media startups and investment. It serves as a cautionary tale for investors and entrepreneurs alike, highlighting the importance of due diligence and transparency in financial dealings. The outcome of the trial will likely have implications not only for the individuals involved but also for broader perceptions of corporate integrity and accountability within the media industry.

Sundar Pichai’s testimony marked a pivotal moment in the trial, offering a definitive rebuttal to claims of acquisition interest by Google and reinforcing the prosecution’s narrative of fraudulent misrepresentation by Ozy Media’s leadership.