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- ‘Champagne fraudster’ Alex Hope gets longer jail sentence - 28 Sep 2016
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- UBS axes 56 Luxembourg jobs to save costs - 27 Sep 2016
Foreign exchange trader Alex Hope got his term of imprisonment prolonged after failing at catching up a confiscation order.
City fraudster who scammed £5.5m out of 100 investors plead guilty to defrauding investors at the hearing at Southwark Crown Court on 12 February. Alex Hope was ordered to pay back £2.7 million of the £5 million he made from investors in an unauthorised investment scheme.
Hope was given until 12 May to pay £166,696 fees, however, according to information released by the Financial Conduct Authority, he paid only paid £1,000 of the total amount required.
The additional judicial order is to prolong the term of imprisonment making it a 7-year sentence, which was initially presented to Hope on 30 January 2015.
He was accused of defrauding around a hundred investors with a total amount of £5.5 million invested in a collective investment scheme he was running without authorisation.
Hope assured the investors the funds would be utilised for generating substantial returns through investments in foreign exchange markets.
It was later uncovered that only 12% of the sum received from investors was ever used in treading, the rest of the sum was hidden in his trading accounts.
Hope received the nickname ‘Champagne fraudster’ when it was discovered that at the peak of leading his lavish lifestyle, he spent £200,000 on a single round of drinks, including a £125,000 double Nebuchadnezzar bottle of champagne.
An inquiry into the scheme made by the financial watchdog discovered that £2.65 million was kept in ‘frozen’ accounts controlled by Hope, which he was obliged to return to investors.
However, a formidable proportion of the remainder was spent splashing out on luxuries, which includes expensive presents to friends and family members.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 the value of expensive gifts can be defrayed and the court obliged Mr Hope to pay the sum covering the value of the gifts received by his friends and family members.
Mark Steward, an FCA director of enforcement and market oversight, commented the following on the matter: ‘The FCA will continue to make sure wrongdoers do not profit from their crimes at the expense of victims. Confiscation orders cannot be ignored and will be enforced.