By Hajare El Khaldi
Rabat – Morocco has extradited UK national Renwick Haddow to the US after a long criminal saga, finally sealing the USD 36 million fraud case.
According to a press release by the US Department of Justice, Haddow allegedly engaged in “schemes to defraud victims by making material misrepresentations and misappropriating investment funds” in several entities, controlled by him, including Bitcoin Store Inc. and Bar Works Inc.
Haddow, who touted the professional backgrounds of unexisting senior executives, represented Bitcoin Store Inc. as an online user-friendly platform for purchasing, selling, and storing digital currency that generates millions of dollars in gross sales, while in reality the company’s bank accounts received less than USD 250,000 in incoming transfers in 2015.
“Haddow concealed his interest in Bitcoin Store and fabricated the purported ‘experienced team of leading investment professionals’ working at the company,” the US Department of Justice added, “in connection with Bar Works, Haddow adopted the alias ‘Jonathan Black’ to further hide his role in the schemes.”
In 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) joined the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in filing charges against Haddow for stealing more than USD 180 million over a decade ago in a Ponzi scheme, in which non-existent companies generated profits for old investors by acquiring new companies.
The defendant, who was arrested in Morocco on the basis of a provisional arrest warrant, appeared on the Southern District Court of New York on Friday, April 13.
Haddow, aged 49, has been charged with two counts of wire fraud for the Bitcoin Store and Bar Works schemes, facing up to 40 years in prison.