Regulation  

Trader who blew investors cash on himself jailed

Trader who blew investors cash on himself jailed

Two fraudsters have been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court for a total of nine years between them for operating and promoting a collective investment scheme without authorisation.

Alex Hope was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to a total of seven years’ imprisonment for defrauding investors of significant sums and operating a collective investment scheme without authorisation.

Mr Hope was convicted on the 9 January 2015 following a trial. At that time, judge Taylor found him guilty of one count of fraud at Southwark Crown Court.

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His co-defendant, Raj Von Badlo, who had earlier pleaded guilty, was sentenced to a total of two years imprisonment for recklessly making false representations to investors and promoting a collective investment scheme without authorisation.

Judge Taylor remarked on the sophistication of the scheme which involved the falsification of documents and management of his persona in sentencing Mr Hope.

He said that Mr Hope had “shown no acceptance of [his] own dishonesty”. Judge Taylor also stated in sentencing Mr Von Badlo that the risk of the scheme must have been clear to him.

Between March 2011 and April 2012, Mr Hope took over £5m from investors, using over £2m of this for personal expenditure.

He told investors that he would trade their money on the foreign exchange markets and held himself out to be a talented and successful trader who could make investors a return of up to 100 per cent in just a few months, while in reality he lost over £500,000 of the £650,000 held in his trading accounts.

Mr Hope’s scheme was closed down by the Financial Conduct Authority in April 2012.

Georgina Philippou, acting director of enforcement and market oversight, said: “Alex Hope presented himself as a trader with a flair for trading on the foreign exchange markets when in reality he spent a good deal of his investors’ money on himself.

“With the assistance of Raj Von Badlo, Alex Hope enticed dozens to invest considerable sums in his fraudulent scheme.

“This case shows that the FCA will vigorously protect consumers from those who break the law and do whatever it can to get their money back to them.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com