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The Court directed that the Notice be mailed to you because you or someone in your family or an investment account for which you serve as a custodian may have purchased or otherwise acquired one or more shares of Bit Digital common stock during the Class Period. The Court also directed that the Notice be posted online on this website. The Court has directed us to disseminate these notices because, as a potential Class Member, you have a right to know about your options before the Court rules on the proposed Settlement. Additionally, you have the right to understand how this class action lawsuit may generally affect your legal rights. If the Court approves the Settlement, and the Plan of Allocation (or some other plan of allocation), the claims administrator selected by Lead Plaintiff and approved by the Court will make payments pursuant to the Settlement after any objections and appeals are resolved.
The purpose of the Notice is to inform you of the existence of this case, that it is a class action, how you might be affected, and how to exclude yourself from the Class if you wish to do so. It is also being sent to inform you of the terms of the proposed Settlement, and of a hearing to be held by the Court to consider the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the Settlement, the proposed Plan of Allocation and the motion by Lead Counsel for an award of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of Litigation Expenses (the “Settlement Hearing”).
The issuance of the Notice is not an expression of any opinion by the Court concerning the merits of any claim in the Action, and the Court still has to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and a plan of allocation, then payments to Authorized Claimants will be made after any appeals are resolved and after the completion of all claims processing. Please be patient, as this process can take some time to complete.
If you are a member of the Class, you are subject to the Settlement, unless you timely request to be excluded. The Class consists of:
All Persons who purchased Bit Digital common stock between December 21, 2020 and January 11, 2021 inclusive (the “Class Period”).
Excluded from the Class are Defendants and their families, the officers, directors, and affiliates, and their legal representatives, heirs, successors or assigns, and any entity in which Defendants have or had a controlling interest. Also excluded from the Class are the Persons who timely and validly seek exclusion from the Class or whose request for exclusion is accepted by the Court.
PLEASE NOTE: RECEIPT OF THE NOTICE DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE A CLASS MEMBER OR THAT YOU WILL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE PROCEEDS FROM THE SETTLEMENT.
If you are a Class Member and you wish to be eligible to participate in the distribution of proceeds from the Settlement, you are required to submit a Claim Form and the required supporting documentation as set forth therein, postmarked or submitted online no later than March 21, 2023. The Claim Form is available for download online on this website. You may also submit your claim, and the required supporting documentation by clicking the "Submit Claim" button on the top section of this website.
Lead Plaintiff and Lead Counsel believe that the claims asserted against Defendants have merit. They recognize, however, the expense and length of continued proceedings necessary to pursue their claims against Defendants through trial and appeals, as well as the very substantial risks they would face in establishing liability and damages. Among other things, Lead Plaintiff and the Class faced the risk that they would fail to survive Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, fail to certify a class in whole or in part, that Defendants would succeed in reducing the total amount of damages available to the Class, or would succeed in having the case dismissed in whole or in part at summary judgment or at trial.
Defendants have denied the claims asserted against them in the Action and deny having engaged in any wrongdoing or violation of law of any kind whatsoever. Defendants have agreed to the Settlement solely to eliminate the burden and expense of continued litigation. Accordingly, the Settlement may not be construed as an admission of any wrongdoing by Defendants.
If there were no Settlement and Lead Plaintiff failed to establish any essential legal or factual element of his claims against Defendants, neither Lead Plaintiff nor the other members of the Class would recover anything from Defendants. Also, if Defendants were successful in proving any of their defenses, either at summary judgment, at trial, or on appeal, the Class could recover substantially less than the amount provided in the Settlement, or nothing at all.
As a Class Member, you are represented by Lead Plaintiff and Lead Counsel, unless you enter an appearance through counsel of your own choice at your own expense. You are not required to retain your own counsel, but if you choose to do so, such counsel must file a notice of appearance on your behalf and must serve copies of his or her appearance on the attorneys listed in the section entitled, “When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?” below.
If you are a Class Member and do not wish to remain a Class Member, you may exclude yourself from the Class by following the instructions in the section entitled, “What if I do not want to be a member of the Class? How do I exclude myself?” below.
If you are a Class Member and you wish to object to the Settlement, the Plan of Allocation, or Lead Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of Litigation Expenses, and if you do not exclude yourself from the Class, you may present your objections by following the instructions in the question entitled, “When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?” below.
If you are a Class Member and you do not exclude yourself from the Class, you will be bound by any orders issued by the Court. If the Settlement is approved, the Court will enter a judgment (the “Judgment”). The Judgment will dismiss with prejudice the claims against Defendants and will provide that, upon the Effective Date of the Settlement, Lead Plaintiff and each of the other Class Members, on behalf of themselves, and their respective heirs, executors, administrators, predecessors, successors, and assigns in their capacities as such, shall be deemed to have, and by operation of law and of the judgment shall have, fully, finally and forever compromised, settled, released, resolved, relinquished, waived and discharged each and every Released Claim (as defined below) against the Defendants and the other Released Defendants Parties (as defined below), and shall forever be barred and enjoined from prosecuting any or all of the Released Claims against any of the Released Defendant Parties.
“Released Claims” means any and all claims and causes of action of every nature and description whatsoever, including Unknown Claims (defined below), whether arising under federal, state, local, common, statutory, administrative, or foreign law, or any other law, rule, or regulation, at law or in equity, whether fixed or contingent, whether foreseen or unforeseen, whether accrued or unaccrued, whether liquidated or unliquidated, whether matured or unmatured, whether direct, representative, class, or individual in nature, that either were or could have been asserted in this Litigation, which arise out of, are based upon, or are related in any way to both: (i) the purchase or acquisition, or sale of Bit Digital securities; and (ii) the allegations, transactions, facts, matters, or occurrences, representations or omissions involved, set forth, or referred to, or which could have been alleged, in the initial complaint dated January 20, 2021 and/or any amendments thereto.
“Released Defendant Parties” means (i) Defendants; and (ii) each of their respective family members, and their respective general partners, limited partners, principals, joint venturers, members, officers, directors, managers, managing directors, supervisors, employees, contractors, consultants, auditors, accountants, financial advisors, professional advisors, investment bankers, underwriters, representatives, insurers, trustees, trustors, agents, attorneys, professionals, predecessors, successors, assigns, heirs, executors, administrators, and any controlling person thereof in their capacities as such.
“Unknown Claims” means any Released Claims or Released Defendant Claims that Defendants, Lead Plaintiff, or any other Class Member does not know or suspect to exist in such party’s favor at the time of the release, which, if known by such party, might have affected such party’s decision to settle or release claims. Upon the Effective Date of the Settlement, Defendants, Lead Plaintiff and the Class shall expressly waive, and be deemed to have waived, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the provisions, rights, and benefits of California Civil Code § 1542, which provides:
A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS THAT THE CREDITOR OR RELEASING PARTY DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE AND THAT, IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER, WOULD HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR OR RELEASE PARTY.
Lead Plaintiff and Defendants acknowledge, and each of the other Class Members and each of the other Released Defendant Parties shall be deemed by operation of law to have acknowledged, that the foregoing waiver was separately bargained for and a key element of the Settlement.
The Judgment will also provide that, upon the Effective Date of the Settlement, Defendants, on behalf of themselves, and their respective heirs, executors, administrators, predecessors, successors, and assigns in their capacities as such, shall be deemed to have, and by operation of law and of the judgment shall have, fully, finally and forever compromised, settled, released, resolved, relinquished, waived and discharged each and every Released Defendant Claims (as defined below) against Lead Plaintiff and the other Release Plaintiff Parties (as defined below), and shall forever be barred and enjoined from prosecuting any or all of the Released Defendant Claims against any of the Released Plaintiff Parties. This release shall not apply to any person or entity who or which timely and validly seeks exclusion from the Class or whose request for exclusion is accepted by the Court.
“Released Defendant Claims” means upon the Effective Date, Defendants will release as against Released Plaintiff Parties, all claims and causes of action of every nature and description, whether known or Unknown Claims, whether arising under federal, state, local, common, statutory, administrative, or foreign law, or any other law, rule, or regulation, at law or in equity, whether fixed or contingent, whether foreseen or unforeseen, whether accrued or unaccrued, whether liquidated or unliquidated, whether matured or unmatured, whether direct, representative, class, or individual in nature that arise out of or relate in any way to the institution, prosecution, or settlement of the claims against Defendants. Released Defendant Claims shall not include any claims relating to the enforcement of the Settlement.
“Released Plaintiff Parties” means: (i) Lead Plaintiff and other Class Members; and (ii) each of their respective family members, and their respective general partners, limited partners, principals, shareholders, joint venturers, members, officers, directors, managers, managing directors, supervisors, employees, contractors, consultants, auditors, accountants, financial advisors, professional advisors, investment bankers, representatives, insurers, trustees, trustors, agents, attorneys, including Lead Counsel, professionals, predecessors, successors, assigns, heirs, executors, administrators, and any controlling person thereof, in their capacities as such.
The Claim Form deadline has passed. You must have submitted your Claim Form with adequate supporting documents online no later than Tuesday, March 21, 2023, or mailed your completed paper Claim Form so that it was postmarked no later than Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
At this time, it is not possible to make any determinations as to how much any individual Class Member may receive from the Settlement.
Pursuant to the Settlement, Defendants have agreed to pay or cause to be paid $2,100,000 in cash. The Settlement Amount will be deposited into an escrow account. The Settlement Amount plus any interest earned thereon is referred to as the “Settlement Fund.” If the Settlement is approved by the Court and the Effective Date occurs, the “Net Settlement Fund” (that is, the Settlement Fund less: (i) the amount of the Fee and Expense Award and any award to Lead Plaintiff as allowed under the PSLRA, if and to the extent allowed by the Court; (ii) Notice and Administration Expenses; (iii) Taxes and Tax Expenses; and (iv) any other fees or expenses approved by the Court) will be distributed to Class Members who submit valid Claim Forms, in accordance with the proposed Plan of Allocation or such other plan of allocation as the Court may approve.
The Net Settlement Fund will not be distributed unless and until the Court has approved the Settlement and a plan of allocation, and the time for any petition for rehearing, appeal or review, whether by certiorari or otherwise, has expired.
Neither Defendants nor any other person or entity that paid any portion of the Settlement Amount on their behalf are entitled to receive back any portion of the Settlement Fund once the Court’s order or judgment approving the Settlement becomes Final. Defendants shall not have any liability, obligation or responsibility for the administration of the Settlement, the disbursement of the Net Settlement Fund or the plan of allocation.
Approval of the Settlement is independent from approval of a plan of allocation. Any determination with respect to a plan of allocation will not affect the Settlement, if approved.
Lead Counsel has not received any payment for their services in pursuing claims against the Defendants on behalf of the Class, nor has Lead Counsel been reimbursed for its out-of-pocket expenses. Before final approval of the Settlement, Lead Counsel will apply to the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees for in an amount not to exceed 25% of the Settlement Fund. At the same time, Lead Counsel also intends to apply for reimbursement of Litigation Expenses in an amount not to exceed $30,000, which may include an application for reimbursement of the reasonable costs and expenses incurred by Lead Plaintiff directly related to his representation of the Class. The Court will determine the amount of any award of attorneys’ fees or reimbursement of Litigation Expenses. Such sums as may be approved by the Court will be paid from the Settlement Fund. Class Members are not personally liable for any such fees or expenses.
The Exclusion deadline has now passed. All exclusion requests must have been received no later than February 14, 2023.
The Settlement Hearing was held on March 7, 2023 at 11:00 a.m., before the Honorable Andrew L. Carter, Jr. at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY 10007. The Settlement was approved. See the documents from Marxh 7, 2023 posted on the Documents tab for details.