The Real Deal New York

Bar Works founder Renwick Haddow agrees to extradition: SEC

Alleged Ponzi schemer could be headed for trial
By Konrad Putzier | December 21, 2017 09:30AM

Renwick Haddow

Renwick Haddow is still sitting in a Moroccan jail, but possibly not for much longer. The Bar Works founder and alleged fraudster agreed to be extradited to the U.S., according to a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission filed in Manhattan Federal Court Monday.

“The Commission understands that the United States government is in the process of extraditing Haddow and that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York recently learned that Haddow has consented to extradition,” the letter reads. Financefeeds first reported the news.

Haddow stands accused of running a Ponzi scheme behind the facade of his New York-based co-working venture, Bar Works, and stealing $37 million from investors.

On June 30, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and the SEC filed fraud charges against Haddow.  He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted. A month later Moroccan authorities arrested him in Tangiers following a request from Interpol. He’s been sitting in a Moroccan jail since, waiting on a decision on the U.S. extradition request.

The Real Deal first reported Haddow’s involvement in Bar Works, which was carefully hidden, in January and raised questions about the company’s business model.The now-defunct company operated coworking locations in retail spaces. It also “sold” its desks to overseas investors, promising any rental income as a return. According to prosecutors, the offering was really a Ponzi scheme.

Investors filed at least five different civil lawsuits against Haddow, seeking to recover lost money from him. But with Haddow out of the country the chances of success were slim. Last month, one group of investors sued JPMorgan Chase for $3 million, alleging that the bank failed to unmask the scheme.