SEC Charges James Robinson and David Kennedy in $57 Million Investment Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against James Robinson and David Kennedy in connection with an investment scheme which defrauded investors of over $57 million. The SEC had previously charged the principal and related entities of the scheme with securities fraud.

Robinson and Kennedy are alleged to have raised $7.5million from over 100 investors between September and July 2016 according to the SEC. The SEC alleges that they recruited a sales network to sell investments into co-working spaces run by Bar Works, Inc., and Bar Works 7th Avenue, Inc., using false and misleading materials. These materials falsely represented “Jonathan Black” Renwick Haddow was not mentioned as the CEO of Bar Works. Robinson and Kennedy had been aware of this. “Black” Haddow was not the real owner of the Bar Works companies and had been a fictitious character. This is despite the fact that Haddow had previously been charged by the United Kingdom securities regulator over an unrelated investment scheme. Robinson and Kennedy were paid at least $2,000,000 by Haddow and Bar Works through United Property Group.

Robinson and Kennedy are charged in the SEC complaint filed at the U.S. District Court of New York for the Southern District of New York with violating antifraud laws of the Securities Act of 1929 and Securities Exchange Act of 1954. The SEC also accuses them of aiding and abet Haddow’s violations and those of the Bar Works company. Haddow had already been permanently banned from violating the Securities Law in future and agreed to be barred by the securities industry.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York announced criminal charges against Robinson, and Kennedy.

The SEC investigation was carried out by a group of people, and the case is being handled by Heather L. Shaffer and Christopher J. Dunnigan. The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, and the Comisión Nacional de Mercado de Valores of Spain.

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SEC: What You Need to Know

Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC for short, is the regulatory agency of the United States. It oversees and enforces securities laws. The primary mission of the SEC is to protect investors and maintain fair, efficient, and transparent markets.

The SEC has the responsibility of regulating and overseeing various participants within the securities industry. This includes securities exchanges as well as brokers, dealers and investment advisors. These entities are required to provide relevant information to the general public in order to ensure transparency and prevent fraudulent activities.

It also enforces securities law by investigating and prosecuting violations. The SEC has the power to take civil enforcement action against companies or individuals who engage in fraud or violate securities law. In addition, the SEC inspects and examines registered entities in order to ensure compliance.

SEC seeks to protect investors and foster confidence in securities markets through its enforcement actions and regulatory oversight.

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