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Trader convicted of fraud in £5m investment scam

A trader has been found guilty of fraud in a conviction brought by the FCA for a £5m investment scam.

Alex Hope was found guilty of one count of fraud by a jury at Southwark Crown Court today. He had previously admitted a charge of operating a collective investment scheme without authorisation.

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

He told investors that he would trade their money on the foreign exchange markets, and claimed to be a talented trader who could make returns of up to 100 per cent in just a few months.

In reality, Hope’s trading was heavily loss-making. He lost over £500,000 of the £650,000 held in his trading accounts.

Prior to the trial, Hope’s co-defendant Raj Von Badlo pleaded guilty to an offence of recklessly making false representations to investors and a further offence of promoting a collective investment scheme without authorisation.

The pair were charged in April 2013.

FCA acting director of enforcement and market oversight Georgina Philippou says: “Using fraud and false promises, Hope took in those who trusted him to invest their money.

“He promised fantastic returns but, as is so often the case with unauthorised investment schemes, those who invested ended up with significant losses and the main beneficiary of the scheme was Hope himself.

“Securing the conviction of Hope demonstrates the FCA’s commitment to achieving our objectives of protecting consumers and enhancing the integrity of the financial system.”

Hope and Von Badlo will be sentenced on 16 January.

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The article fails to mention neither he nor the firm were authroised by the FCA which means that none of the investors have ANY protection under the FSCS.
    Is it not time that the FCA advertised the existence of the FS register rather than wasting money on adverst for MAS, FSCS, FOS the latter two which are for when things go wrong (shutting the gate when the horse….) when simplychecking the FS register may have saved the investors from themselves.

  2. Phil, if he was telling his clients that he could make 100% returns in just a few months and they were still investing, then I think they were beyond help.

    A fool and his money springs to mind!

    Lets just hope that this doesn’t somehow end up being a claim against the FSCS.

  3. I agree with Phil and it is something that I have been saying for a long time on here.

    The general public have NO knowledge of the register!!!!

    The FCA have a statutory objective to protect the consumer – how can it do this without even advertising the register for authorised individuals and firms.

    The website for the register is a complete mess and not user friendly.

    In the meantime it waste millions on MAS.

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