FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – From limbo to layoffs, Bitwise employees have been waiting for two and a half weeks to see what would happen after being furloughed and on Wednesday, fear turned into reality as employees woke up to an email with an official termination.

“Obviously they victimized a lot of people within their company, they victimized a lot of investors so, what they did, they’re very good at it and that was disguising, what Bitwise was all about and their financial hardships,” said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.

This email coming out Wednesday and sent to all Bitwise employees reads in part, “We regret to inform you that your position will be eliminated Wednesday, June 14, 2023. This is a permanent job elimination.”

The email goes on to say all Fresno and nationwide locations will be permanently closed. Mayor Dyer stressing all of this could have been prevented.

“Had we been given the proper 60-day notice we would have immediately put forth the effort to host a job fair. I’m very confident that those 400 employees at Bitwise would be employed at this time,” said Mayor Dyer.

The email was pushed out by the former Bitwise board member and newly appointed interim president of Bitwise Ollen Douglas.

Attorney at law Roger Bonakdar, who is representing employees in one of the suits, says the email included threats to workers of what they could and could not do.

“Now they’re adding on these bogus threats and these additional lies out of this secondary email that came today, it is both pathetic and disgusting that Bitwise and its board would decide after being radio silent for this long. The first thing they’re going to do is threaten their employees with completely false and sham threats of a suit or criminal liability,” said Bonakdar.

The city previously said they were not able to seek out criminal charges against Bitwise but Mayor Dyer says they’re not ruling out a lawsuit.

“I think we’ve only seen the start of it from investors and there’s gonna be more litigation following and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if there’s some type of federal criminal investigation
that follows as well, said Mayor Dyer.

Mayor Dyer also wants to remind former Bitwise employees they will be having a job fair this Friday, June 16, in hopes to help those affected by the loss.