Investment fraudster given extra jail time for failing to pay court order

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Convicted investment scammer Alex Hope has had his seven year jail sentence increased by more than 18 months after failing to paying the full value of a confiscation order made against him.

Between March 2011 and April 2012, Hope took £5.5m from more than 100 investors, and used more than £2m of the money to fund his extravagant lifestyle.

He spent more than £1m in a casino, more than £200,000 on designer watches and shoes, £60,000 on foreign travel, and at least £600,000 in bars and nightclubs in London, Miami and New York.

Despite telling his investors he would trade their money successfully on the foreign exchange markets, only 12 per cent of the money that investors gave Hope was ever traded and, when he did trade, he lost heavily.

Hope has paid just £1,000 of a £166,696 confiscation order made in February at Southwark Crown Court. He was given until 12 May to pay the full amount. He was originally given a seven year sentence in January last year for defrauding the investors of more than £5m, and was given an extra 603 days in prison today.

FCA enforcement and market oversight director Mark Steward says: “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.”

After FCA work, almost £2.65m was identified and frozen in accounts controlled by Hope, which was returned to investors earlier this year.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the value of tainted gifts can be recovered and Hope was ordered to pay a sum equal to the value of the gifts he made to friends and family.

All money recovered from Hope will be used to compensate the victims of his crimes.

Raj Von Badlo, who was convicted and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment alongside Hope in January 2015, has paid in full the confiscation order of £99,819 imposed against him on 18 December 2015.