NY Court issues sentence as to co-conspirator of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow

Maria Nikolova

Savraj Gata-Aura got 48 months in jail, and 3 years of supervised release.

Proceedings for the sentencing of Savraj Gata-Aura, a co-conspirator of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow, were held on Monday before Judge Jed S. Rakoff.

Those present included Vladislav Vainberg, AUSA, Randy Zelin for the defendant, and a court reporter. Savraj Gata-Aura will have to surrender voluntarily before 2:00pm on September 29, 2020.

Let’s recall that the defendant had asked the Court for a non-custodial sentence, whereas the United States Government had pushed for a prison sentence of up to 97 months for the defendant.

From approximately September 2015 through June 2017, Gata-Aura helped run a massive international Ponzi scheme in a co-working space company called Bar Works. The scheme ensnared over 800 victims worldwide who invested over $50 million in co-working spaces that guaranteed an annual return of approximately 14-16% of their investment.

Among other things, investors were deceived about Bar Works’ supposed profitability, the particular workspaces they invested in (which largely existed on paper only), and even the basic identity of Bar Works’ management. Specifically, while the Bar Works offering materials represented the company to have been founded and run by CEO “Jonathan Black,” Black did not exist. The real owner and operator of Bar Works was Renwick Haddow, a U.K. citizen who had previously gained notoriety for operating multiple widely-publicized Ponzi schemes in the U.K. through which investors lost millions of pounds.

For much of the Bar Works scheme, Gata-Aura served as Haddow’s functional right hand man, and the force that brought nearly $40 million of investors’ money through an extensive agent network fueled by huge commissions. Gata-Aura knew the truth about Haddow and “Jonathan Black.” He became aware of the fact that Bar Works’ legitimate revenues from paying members were too meager to even pay the company’s own expenses, much less support guarantees of 14-16% yearly returns to investors. He knew that investors were largely paid out of other investors’ money. He nonetheless lied repeatedly to agents and investors to grow and prolong the Ponzi scheme and solicit new funds.

In exchange for his efforts, Gata-Aura received approximately $3 million from victim funds.

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