SEC proposes settlement with Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow

Maria Nikolova

The proposed consent judgment leaves open the issue of monetary relief- disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and civil monetary penalties – to be decided at a later time.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reached settlement with Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow, as indicated by documents filed with the New York Southern District Court on September 9, 2019.

In a letter to Judge Schofield, the SEC seeks to lift the stay in the civil case for the limited purpose of seeking the Court’s approval of the Commission and Renwick Haddow’s proposed partial consent judgment and seeks the Court’s approval of the consent judgment. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and Haddow have informed the SC that they will consent to lifting the stay for this limited purpose as well.

The proposed consent judgment against Haddow, would, if approved:

  1. enjoin Haddow from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”), Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act;

  2. require Haddow to appear to be interviewed by the Commission staff and accept service of subpoenas issued by the Commission for documents or testimony in connection with this or other matters to which the Commission is a party; and

  3. leave open the issue of monetary relief – disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and civil monetary penalties – to be decided at a later time, either through settlement or by motion before the Court.

According to the SEC, the proposed settlement is fair and reasonable, particularly in light of Haddow’s guilty plea and anticipated sentencing in his related criminal proceeding.

The SEC explains that leaving open the issue of disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and civil penalty to be decided by the Court at a later time upon motion of the Commission is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. Among other things, in determining the appropriate amount of disgorgement Haddow should pay in this action, the Court may wish to consider any order of forfeiture imposed at sentencing in the related criminal case to avoid double-payment of Haddow’s ill-gotten gains. The Court may also take into account any civil fine or sentence imposed in the related criminal action before making a determination as to the appropriate civil penalty against Haddow in the civil matter brought by the SEC.

In May this year, U.S. Attorney Berman announced the unsealing of a guilty plea, on May 8, 2019, by Renwick Haddow, a/k/a “Jonathan Black,” in which he admitted to his own involvement in the fraudulent scheme related to Bar Works, as well as to making material misrepresentations and misappropriating investment funds in another company created by him called Bitcoin Store Inc.

Haddow was originally charged in June 2017 and extradited from Morocco in April 2018. He pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and is cooperating with the Government in the criminal investigation.

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