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.

Read this next

Digital Assets

Valkyrie pulls back on Ether futures merge with Bitcoin ETF

Valkyrie Funds LLC will suspend the purchase of Ether (ETH) futures contracts for its Valkyrie Bitcoin and Ether Strategy ETF (BTF.O). Additionally, the firm will unwind any positions in Ethereum that it has already acquired.  

Digital Assets

Hong Kong police arrest 18 in $1.5B billion JPEX fraud

The investigation into the JPEX crypto exchange scandal continues to unfold as Hong Kong and Macau police arrest four more individuals. These arrests, which include individuals considered “relatively close to the core” of the scandal, bring the total number of detentions to 18.

Digital Assets

Gemini tells Dutch users to withdraw assets by November 17

Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, announced that it will cease providing services to customers in the Netherlands, citing regulatory requirements imposed by the country’s central bank.

Digital Assets

SEC puts BlackRock, Valkyrie, and Bitwise Bitcoin ETFs on hold

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has delayed its decisions on several bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals, leaving many in the crypto industry feeling pessimistic for any future blessing from the agency.

Digital Assets

Ripple backs out of Fortress Trust acquisition

Ripple has decided to cancel its planned acquisition of Fortress Trust, a custodian company, less than a month after initially announcing the agreement.


France regulators blacklists 21 FX brokers, FuturBTC

France’s financial markets regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), today shed light on several unregulated forex brokers representing their offering under several brands. Notably, the AMF has identified only one crypto-assets provider in its latest warning.  

Digital Assets

Flare and Arkham Collaborate for Enhanced Decentralized Data Access

Flare’s blockchain for decentralized data acquisition integrates with Arkham’s Intelligence Platform, offering users advanced analytics and actionable on-chain insights.

Industry News

iFX EXPO International 2023 Successfully Concludes

The most talked about financial event of the year took place in Limassol, Cyprus.

Retail FX

Plus500 Forex Garners Market Attention In The Latest Expert Ranking

Securing the 58th spot in Traders Union’s Best Forex Brokers of 2023 ranking, Plus500, despite its cautionary overall score of 6.3 out of 10, stands out for its stringent regulatory compliance, user-centric WebTrader platform, and a commendable focus on account security, though it lags in providing advanced trading tools and trust management features.