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Texas Company Seeks $33 Million From Bitwise in Lawsuit Filed Today



Bitwise was sued Wednesday, May 31, 2023, in Fresno County Superior Court over alleged disputes in a real estate deal. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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A new lawsuit filed Wednesday seeks $33 million from Bitwise Industries for a failed business venture.

This is the latest negative financial news for the Fresno-based tech/real estate company, which furloughed its staff of about 900 employees on Monday.

Filed by Texas-based NICbyte LLC, the lawsuit alleges that Bitwise and several of its subsidiaries “concealed from Plaintiff their intentional breaches of the joint venture agreement and self-dealing to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, in violation of their duties under the joint venture agreement, wherein — among others — Defendants encumbered the assets of the joint venture with unauthorized loans accruing to their personal benefit.”

The lawsuit cites media reports of Bitwise’s trouble and asks the Fresno County Superior Court for swift action.

“Defendants cannot be trusted,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit is suing Bitwise Industries, Inc., and nine other companies associated with Bitwise. The suit in Fresno County Superior Court lists five causes of action, including breach of contract.

Additionally, NICbyte is asking a judge to prevent the Bitwise companies from any other financial dealings. NICbyte also seeks to freeze assets and wants Bitwise to turn over its financial records.

Real Estate Venture Gone Wrong

The 24-page complaint accuses Bitwise and its companies of securing loans on real estate, when it did not have the authority.

NICbyte entered into a venture with Bitwise subsidiary Wishon Row, LLC, to buy five properties in California. NICbyte would contribute 95% to the joint venture agreement.

The properties included the State Center Warehouse at 747 R Street in downtown Fresno, purchased for $21 million. NICbyte said it put up the majority of the money to make the purchase.

Bitwise bought the building in July 2022 to settle another lawsuit from business partners of the company’s co-CEO, Jake Soberal. When GV Wire asked Soberal about the origin of the $21 million, he replied “the bank” and would not elaborate.

The Bitwise companies took out “several unauthorized loans allegedly and invalidly secured by the … properties,” according to the lawsuit. They also listed four properties for sale, all without the permission of NICbyte, the lawsuit alleges.

Through “flagrant deception and unauthorized actions,” the loans mounted to $30 million, according to NICbyte.

“(Wishon Row’s) actions have put Investor at risk of losing nearly its entire investment amount in the Company, which totals approximately $35.5 million,” the lawsuit says.

“NICbyte/Investor does not have any knowledge as to where the loan proceeds have gone, whether (Wishon Row) still possesses them, or if they even still exist,” the lawsuit continues.

The lawsuit states the Bitwise companies failed to pay NICbyte its share of any quarterly distributions under the joint agreement.

No court date has been set.

Read the Lawsuit

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email