Still no indictment in criminal case against Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow

Maria Nikolova

The DOJ has provided a brief update on the criminal case against Haddow, who is known for his fraudulent schemes Bitcoin Store and Bar Works.

The US criminal proceedings against notorious Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow have not yet led to an indictment, the US Government said on Tuesday, September 4th. The update was provided in relation to a civil case launched by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Haddow, which has been stayed since July pending the conclusion of the related criminal case.

In the letter to Honorable Lorna G. Schofield, the Department of Justice says that the criminal case has not yet been indicted. Most recently, on August 13, 2018, the Honorable Stewart D. Aaron, United States Magistrate Judge, ordered a 30-day continuance in the interest of justice, given that the parties said they were engaged in discussions concerning a possible disposition of the case.

In June last year, the criminal charges against Renwick Haddow were unsealed. The criminal complaint charges him with two counts of wire fraud — one relating to the Bitcoin Store scheme and the other relating to the Bar Works scheme. Each charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.

Under the allegations, Haddow, a citizen of the United Kingdom, from November 2014 through June 2017, solicited investments in start-up companies he created and controlled, including Bitcoin Store — a purported online platform for purchasing, selling, and storing the digital currency known as “Bitcoin”—and Bar Works, which purports to be a company that adapts former restaurants, bar premises, and other locations into co-working spaces. When doing so, Haddow made material misrepresentations about the management, operations, and historical performance of those companies.

For instance, Haddow concealed his interest in Bitcoin Store and fabricated the purported “experienced team of leading investment professionals” working at the company. In connection with Bar Works, Haddow adopted the alias “Jonathan Black” to further hide his role in the schemes. He claimed that “Jonathan Black” had an extensive background in finance and had a role in setting up “Car Share,” a car-sharing app.

The Criminal Case against Haddow stems from the same set of facts and circumstances that have led to the launch of the Civil Action.

The civil case against Haddow is captioned Securities and Exchange Commission v. Haddow et al (1:17-cv-04950).

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