SEC to seek $1.5m in disgorgement from co-conspirator of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow

Maria Nikolova

James Moore received at least $1.5 million in commissions, so the SEC requests this amount in disgorgement, plus prejudgment interest and civil penalties.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has provided clarity on its course of action in the lawsuit targeting James Moore, a co-conspirator of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow.

A letter filed with the New York Southern District Court on November 26, 2019, includes the SEC’s computation of damages in the case against Moore. The SEC estimates that Moore and Universal Voicetech, Inc. helped to raise over $5 million from approximately 100 investors. Moore received at least $1.5 million in commissions. The Commission requests this latter amount in disgorgement, plus prejudgment interest and civil penalties.

The Commission has reached out to Moore several times with a proposed offer of settlement. However, the SEC has not heard back and as a result no settlement discussions have taken place. The regulator suggests a settlement conference (if possible) to discuss a potential bifurcated settlement.

Let’s recall that the Commission’s Complaint alleges that Moore and Universal Voicetech, Inc., a company Moore controlled, aided and abetted an offering fraud perpetrated by Renwick Haddow. The Complaint alleges that Haddow (who has now pleaded guilty), sold investors interests in a company known as “Bar Works,” which allegedly provided co-working spaces in converted restaurants and bars.

In reality, Haddow and others made material misrepresentations in marketing materials sent to investors about Bar Works while raising over $37 million from investors. Among other things, Bar Works’ website and offering memoranda touted the experience of its CEO Jonathan Black and omitted any mention of Haddow, when in fact Black was wholly fictitious and Haddow, who actually controlled Bar Works, had been sued for a previous illegal investment scheme by the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. Haddow subsequently misappropriated the vast majority these investor funds.

Moore and Universal Voicetech, Inc. aided and abetted Haddow in his fraudulent scheme by interfacing with and finding sales agents who solicited investments in Bar Works. Moore knew that the marketing materials he and his agents used to solicit investments in Bar Works omitted Haddow’s name and instead listed a fictitious name and background when describing Black, the company’s purported CEO. Moore received commissions from Bar Works that totaled at least $1.5 million.

No discovery has taken place as the case was stayed until the Court lifted the stay of discovery on October 21, 2019. The SEC anticipates that the principle discovery in this matter will involve the deposition of Moore.

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