The FBI announced that 49-year old Renwick Haddow has been extradited to the US from Morocco to face charges of fraud at the Southern District Court of New York.
Haddow is accused of defrauding over $36 million from victims by making material misrepresentations and misappropriating investment funds in two firms called Bitcoin Store and Bar Works.
Haddow was apprehended in Morocco under a provisional arrest warrant that was served in July 2017 after the SEC filed fraud charges against him. He supposedly made use of sales representatives to cold call possible investors and sell securities in the two companies he owned while concealing his participation due to his crooked past.
According to the SEC’s complaint, promotional materials that were shown to investors in both companies displayed fictitious senior executives, and misrepresented other pieces of information about the said operations.
Haddow purportedly diverted over 80% of the funds raised for Bitcoin Store, and sent over $4 million from the Bar Works bank accounts to Mauritius and another $1 million to Morocco.
The materials given to Bitcoin Store investors alleged it was “an easy-to-use and secure way of holding and trading Bitcoin” and had produced several million dollars in gross sales. However, the SEC claims that this company has never had any real functions nor created the gross sales that it reported.
As an example, back in 2015, Bitcoin Store’s bank accounts allegedly received less than $250,000 in incoming transfers, none of which come from paying customers. Haddow adopted the alias “Jonathan Black” to hide his association with the company and falsely claimed an extensive background in finance.
“As alleged in our complaint, Haddow created two trendy companies and misled investors into believing that highly-qualified executives were leading them to quick profitability. In reality, Haddow controlled the companies from behind the scenes and they were far from profitable,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office.
Haddow has been charged with two counts of wire fraud, each having a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison.
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