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.