Co-conspirator of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow asks for non-custodial sentence

Maria Nikolova

Savraj Gata-Aura insists that he was neither the mastermind, nor architect, nor principal of the Bar Works scheme.

As the sentencing of Savraj Gata-Aura, a co-conspirator of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow, gets closer, the sentencing submissions by the parties are due.

The New York Southern District Court is set to sentence Savraj Gata-Aura on July 27, 2020. On November 18, 2019, Gata-Aura pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in connection with failing to disclose to investors in Bar Works that Jonathan Black was a fictitious person created by Renwick Haddow to conceal Haddow’s control of Bar Works from investors. Bar Works ended up as little more than a Ponzi scheme. Investors lost tens of millions of dollars.

In a filing submitted at the Court on July 15, 2020, the defense seeks a non-custodial sentence for Gata-Aura.

“Mr. Gata-Aura was neither the mastermind, nor architect, nor principal of this scheme, but he now faces not just financial ruin, but certain removal from his adopted homeland and harsher treatment in custody, all as a result of his offense conduct”, the sentencing submission says.

The defense counsel notes that Gata-Aura has agreed to forfeit close to $3 million and restitution of close to $40 million. Furthermore, Gata-Aura has cooperated with the government and will continue to cooperate with the government to do his part to “maximize the investors’ ability to get to even a small piece of whole”, the defense counsel says.

Let’s recall that, in May 2019, the US authorities announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging Gata-Aura with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for engaging in a scheme to defraud victims by making material misrepresentations about the management and operations of a company called Bar Works Inc. and related entities.

From September 2015 through at least about June 2017, Gata-Aura and others partnered with Haddow in soliciting investments in Bar Works through material misrepresentations concerning, among other things, the identity of Bar Works’ management and the financial condition of that company. Specifically, Haddow adopted the alias “Jonathan Black” to further hide his role in Bar Works in light of the negative publicity on the internet about his regulatory history in the United Kingdom. Notwithstanding Haddow’s control over Bar Works, Haddow caused the Bar Works offering materials to list Black as the chief executive officer of Bar Works and claim that Black had an extensive background in finance and past success with start-up companies. He also made material misrepresentations to investors about, among other things, the operations and historical performance of both Bar Works and Bitcoin Store.

Between September 2015 and June 2017, Bar Works raised over $36 million from investors. Gata-Aura personally obtained at least $3.1 million in exchange for his participation in the scheme.

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