Case against Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow gets further continuance

Maria Nikolova

The Government requested a 30-day continuance until September 12, 2018, so that the Government may file an indictment or other information in this case.

A case brought by the US authorities against Renwick Haddow, known for his Ponzi and Bitcoin scams, has gotten a further continuance. In documents filed with the Court this week, the Government stated that counsel for Haddow and counsel for the Government are engaged in discussions concerning a possible disposition of this case. The negotiations have not been completed.

The Government requested a 30-day continuance until September 12, 2018, so that the Government may file an indictment or other information in this case. Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron granted the request earlier this week.

In June last year, the charges against Renwick Haddow were unsealed. The criminal complaint charges him with two counts of wire fraud — one relating to the Bitcoin Store scheme and the other relating to the Bar Works scheme. Each charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.

Under the allegations, Haddow, who is a citizen of the United Kingdom, from November 2014 through June 2017, solicited investments in start-up companies he created and controlled, including Bitcoin Store — a purported online platform for purchasing, selling, and storing the digital currency known as “Bitcoin”—and Bar Works, which purports to be a company that adapts former restaurants, bar premises, and other locations into co-working spaces. When doing so, Haddow made material misrepresentations about the management, operations, and historical performance of those companies.

For instance, Haddow concealed his interest in Bitcoin Store and fabricated the purported “experienced team of leading investment professionals” working at the company. In connection with Bar Works, Haddow adopted the alias “Jonathan Black” to further hide his role in the schemes. He claimed that “Jonathan Black” had an extensive background in finance and had a role in setting up “Car Share,” a car-sharing app.

Haddow solicited investments through his control of InCrowd Equity Inc., which represented itself as a type of crowdfunding portal through which investors could purchase shares of start-ups supposedly vetted by InCrowd. He did so without disclosing to investors that he had an ownership interest in both InCrowd, on the one hand, and Bitcoin Store and Bar Works, on the other. Haddow also misappropriated without permission funds purportedly invested in Bitcoin Store and Bar Works for his own use and the use of others.

The case, captioned USA v. Haddow (1:17-mj-04939), continues at the New York Southern District Court.

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