Video: Ex-Bitwise CEO joked of criminal activity, misleading investors with top execs

Bitwise CEO Jake Soberal made a number of jarring admissions on a private Zoom call with fellow senior company executives.

A new video has been released showing former Bitwise co-CEO Jake Soberal cracking jokes about committing crimes and lying to investors when he was still running the company. 

Further, Bitwise investor Mitchell Kapor argued his side of the story in a filing in the company’s bankruptcy hearing in Delaware court. 


The big picture: In the video, published by GV Wire, Soberal appears on a Zoom call with co-CEO Irma Olguin and Bitwise President Beth Mily in January. 

  • Soberal initially jokes about relying on a Bitwise attorney to aid in committing crimes.
  • “I think just a note, If you’re looking to do crimes, I think [Name Redacted] is somebody to take,” Soberal said. “Because what I’ve found with [Name Redacted] is you just have to say like hey, here’s the goal, here are the rules of engagement. And he’ll be like, ‘OK cool, I can do that.’”
  • Soberal went on to add, “Let’s be clear, like, we’re not doing crimes so much.” And Mily interjected, “Creative thinking, I would say,” earning laughter from Soberal and Olguin. 
  • Further, Soberal said with much of Bitwise’s operations he did not want investors to know that they messed up in particular ways and would ask the attorney to think of a way to not tell the investor. The attorney would respond saying that he has three ways, which Soberal said he appreciated. 

Kapor’s story: While Soberal joked about committing crimes and lying to investors, Bitwise tanked, leaving over 900 people without jobs and blew millions of dollars that investors had contributed. 

  • In his filing, Kapor said he and his wife lost $30 million that they invested in the company. 
  • Last November Soberal approached the board saying there was an immediate need for short-term cash to meet the minimum cash covenants required by Citibank and Goldman Sachs for apparent investments. Goldman Sachs denied that such a covenant ever existed. 
  • Kapor and his wife, Freada Kapor Klein, gave Bitwise a $4.5 million loan. 
  • “The company’s misrepresentations, misleading statements, and material omissions to the Board continued in 2023,” the filing reads. “As we also now know, the financials presented to the Board were falsified, and management forged directors’ signatures on documents used to take out loans that were hidden from the Board.”
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