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CEOs of crashed tech upstart Bitwise accused of swindling $100M from investors
The co-founders and co-CEOs of failed startup Bitwise appeared in a California court Thursday accused of cheating investors out of $100 million by making up bank statements and revenue figures.
Irma Olguin, Jr and Jake Soberal self-surrendered after a federal complaint charged them with conspiring to commit wire fraud by misstating the assets of their "transformative technology" biz.
"The defendants could have chosen simply to admit the failure of Bitwise's business model, US attorney Phillip Talbert declared in a statement. "Instead, they used lie after lie to pull over $100 million into a dying venture through fraud."
The upstart abruptly furloughed and then laid off all of its 900 employees on May 30, and days later the board of directors fired co-CEOs Olguin and Soberal. By the end of June, Bitwise had filed for bankruptcy.