Tech entrepreneur files lawsuit claiming Bitwise Industries stole his company

Bitwise Industries took one entrepreneur on a wild ride that saw the tech business acquire his firm, then fire him from it, a lawsuit claims.

A former Bitwise employee is suing the failed company and its former CEOs for allegedly stealing a real estate technology app that he created. 

Chase Carter, the former employee, filed the civil lawsuit in the Fresno County Superior Court in February after Bitwise took full control of real estate app Listing Alert. 


The charges: Carter is suing Bitwise, former co-CEOs Jake Soberal and Irma Olguin and company executives Landon Brokaw and Billy Atkins for breach of contract, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and financial elder abuse. 

The big picture: Per the lawsuit, Carter founded real estate tech company Listing Alert with financial backing from his grandfather, Jack Carter in 2018. Shortly after founding the company, Carter hired Bitwise to build and develop an app. 

  • After Carter secured deals with several large real estate firms across the country, Bitwise approached him with an offer to invest $2 million. Carter claims that Bitwise took seven months to put Listing Alert through a validation period, in which the company used the time to develop a plan to oust him and take 100 percent ownership of the service. 
  • Carter entered into a deal with Bitwise on Aug. 10, 2020 for the company to operate Listing Alert. Carter would keep 24 percent ownership of his company, and Jack Carter would own three percent. Bitwise also hired Carter as the business development manager for Listing Alert. 
    • Carter was fired from Bitwise on Aug. 4, 2021, two weeks before he would have been able to exercise a 20 percent option in Listing Agent and have his ownership stake in Listing Agent rise to 44 percent. 

    Go deeper: In the lawsuit, Carter claims that Bitwise never invested the $2 million that was promised. 

    • Carter also claims that Bitwise deposited $18.46 into his bank account on Feb. 1, 2022, which he believed to be an owner draw. Bitwise quickly reversed the deposit, which Carter said was done to intentionally inflict emotional distress on him. 
    • “Defendants acts of stealing Listing Alert, which was started and developed by Plaintiffs, were committed with the intention of inflicting emotional distress on Plaintiffs,” the lawsuit reads. “Further, this behavior is so extreme as to be beyond all bounds of decency tolerated by society.” 

    What we’re watching: Carter is seeking $20 million in damages from Bitwise and the ex-CEOs. 

    • The lawsuit is currently scheduled for a case management conference on June 20, and Carter hopes the case goes to trial this year. 
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