Pistachio Wars: Wonderful Company tax chief completes testimony in Assemi legal fight

The top tax executive for the Wonderful Company testified to dealings between the Assemi family and the Resnick-backed farming giant.

After a week off, the expansive litigation between Fresno’s Assemi family and The Wonderful Company returned to court on Monday. 

The backstory: The Assemis, owners of Touchstone Pistachios, are suing the Wonderful Company for breach of contract over lack of assurances that the nut processor would pay a $25 million grower bonus for 2018 after the Assemis left the Wonderful Pistachio co-operative in 2019.


Wonderful has countersued over alleged breach of contract centering on the diversion of millions of pounds of nuts away from Wonderful in 2019, failing to deliver additional crop between 2020 and 2029 after receiving patented high-yield pistachio rootstock from Wonderful, and defaulting on loans issued to the Assemis through membership in the Wonderful Co-Op.

The day’s courtroom action : Jordan Weiss, the Executive Vice President and Chief Tax Officer of The Wonderful Company continued his testimony on Monday, continuing from where he left off on Oct. 26. 

  • Weiss noted that he has a history with Kevin Assemi, fielding many tax questions over the years when the Assemis were part of the Wonderful co-operative. 
  • While Weiss did not testify to any direct knowledge of the alleged breach of contract, he did say he has never seen Resnick renege on an agreement. 
  • Following the conclusion of Weiss’ testimony, Wonderful’s attorneys called William Kimble with the Cal Pure co-operative to the stand. But the attorneys for the Assemis objected to his relevancy since he has not had any involvement in the Assemi’s co-operative with Wonderful. 
  • Judge Jeffrey Hamilton allowed Kimble to testify, but he sustained several objections from the Assemi attorneys, leading the testimony to only last around 30 minutes. 
  • Wonderful’s attorneys finished out the day by recalling Pantipa Sarai to the stand. She is the controller for Wonderful Growers co-operative. 
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