The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed fraud charges against the clandestine founder of a purported Bitcoin platform and a chain of co-working spaces located in former bars and restaurants, alleging that he bilked investors in both companies while hiding his connection given his checkered past with regulators in the U.K.

The SEC alleges that Renwick Haddow, a U.K. citizen living in New York, created a broker-dealer and did not register the firm with the SEC as required under the federal securities laws.  Haddow allegedly used sales representatives to cold call potential investors and sell securities in Bitcoin Store Inc. and Bar Works Inc.

According to the SEC’s complaint, offering materials presented to investors in both companies touted the backgrounds of senior executives who do not appear to exist.  The materials also misrepresented other key facts about both companies’ operations.  Haddow allegedly diverted more than 80 percent of the in funds raised by the broker-dealer for the Bitcoin Store, and sent more than $4 million from the Bar Works bank accounts to one or more accounts in Mauritius and $1 million to one or more accounts in Morocco.