By Agence France-Presse
Renwick Haddow, 49, has been charged with two counts of wire fraud connected to a pair of purported startups: Bitcoin Store, an online marketplace for the cryptocurrency, and Bar Works, a venture to transform former restaurants into work spaces.
As he solicited investors for the businesses "Haddow made material misrepresentations about, among other things, the management, operations and historical performance of the companies," US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement.
Haddow was originally charged in the US in June 2017, arrested in Morocco in July 2017, and scheduled to appear in a New York Court on Friday, Berman said. He faces jail of up to 20 years for each of the charges.
The alleged fraud included creating a fake identity "Jonathan Black," who he said was the chief executive of Bar Works, according to the complaint.
Haddow also fabricated a team at Bitcoin Store led by chief executive "Gordon Phillips," who was said to have received a Master of Science degree in finance from Yale and worked as global head of currency and options trading at HSBC.
The FBI found neither HSBC nor Yale had records for Phillips. Haddow confected similar resumes for two other members of Bitcoin Store's "experienced team of leading investment professionals," the FBI charges said.
Haddow also said Bitcoin Store had generated $7.6 million in sales, but the only bank account that Haddow had opened for the firm had less than $500, Beresford said.