The Unfortunate, Far-Reaching Consequences Of The Bar Works Scam

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The unwitting investors of a fraudulent workspace company - Bar Works - are now being targeted by another scam after their names appeared on a so-called ‘sucker list’.
  • Last year, the SEC filed fraud charges against Renwick Haddow, founder of former coworking brand Bar Works
  • Bar Works’ investors filed charges against Haddow, as well as the bank where Haddow kept an account, JPMorgan Chase
  • Investors of Bar Works are currently being targeted by another scam, Asia Beijing Corporation

Bar Works made the news last April (2017) when it raised several red flags that pointed to a Ponzi Scheme operation. Shortly after, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed fraud charges against Renwick Haddow, the mastermind behind Bar Works’ fraud scheme. Several weeks later, the scheme came to an official end, when Renwick Haddow was arrested in Morocco.

Several investors of Bar Works later sued the company and Renwick Haddow. However, attorney Jared Stamell told Crain’s New York that “it made little sense to go after Haddow or Kyselova in a civil case because the money would be hard to recover. He said he is exploring the possibility of suing banks that Haddow and Kyselova used to perpetrate their alleged fraud.”

A group of Chinese investors did, indeed, sue one of the banks used by Haddow, JPMorgan Chase. According to an article published by The Real Deal, “A group of Bar Works victims is suing JPMorgan Chase for $3 million over its role in the alleged Ponzi scheme. The plaintiffs, a group of 27 Chinese investors, allege that the bank knew Bar Works was a Ponzi scheme but still allowed its mastermind Renwick Haddow to keep an account, which he used to collect millions from his victims.”

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And while Haddow and his associates were stopped and are currently being prosecuted by authorities, the scam continues to haunt Bar Works’ investors.

REDD-Monitor reported a few days ago that so-called Asia Beijing Corporation “is cold calling victims of Renwick Haddow’s scam, Bar Works. Asia Beijing Corporation claims to be able to ‘exchange the toxic asset’ for shares in Ant Financial Services Group.”

Worrisome as this is, it’s even more alarming that Asia Beijing Corporation has been able to obtain the information of all of Bar Works’ investors.

According to REDD-Monitor, Asia Beijing Corporation has been able to do this because the names of the investors are on a so-called sucker list. “These lists consist of names, addresses, phone numbers, and background information about victims of scams.”

“Boiler room operations collect details about the people they have scammed. Scammers sell this information, called ‘sucker lists’, to other boiler room operations.”

Victims of scams must therefore be extra careful, as they are easy targets for other scams. It’s critical that investors truly dig deep into the companies they are seeking to invest in, as it is easy to forge and fake documents and information that are later shared online.

Not only is Asia Beijing Corporation targeting Bar Works’ victims, it is also claiming to be an agent for Bar Works Management Incorporated. A letter, sent to the victims, claimed to be “a letter of confirmation from the American regulators with respect to your company’s takeover of Bar Works Management Incorporated.”

Here’s the obvious red-flag, “Why would the SEC allow any company to take over a company that it is pursuing through the courts?” as REDD-Monitor rightly puts it.

The consequences of the entire Bar Works operation are daunting, and many are likely to be victims of scams once again if they do not take the necessary precautions.

The current Asia Beijing Corporation situation is an issue that was created by Bar Works. And it comes to show how a scam in our industry can go way beyond it, causing multiple layers of damage.

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