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Two men sentenced to nine years in prison for £5m investment scam

Two men have been sentenced to a total of nine years in prison following a conviction brought by the FCA for a £5m investment scam.

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

His co-defendant Raj Von Badlo was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for recklessly making false representations to investors and promoting a collective investment scheme without authorisation.

Between March 2011 and April 2012, Hope took £5.5m from over 100 investors, and used over £2m to fund his extravagant lifestyle.

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

Despite telling his investors that 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.

He used doctored copies of statements from his trading account to mislead investors.

Hope was found guilty of fraud earlier this month, while Von Badlo pleaded guilty.

In sentencing, the judge said Hope had shown “no acceptance of his own dishonesty”.

FCA acting director of enforcement and market oversight Georgina Philippou says: “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.”

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  1. This is straightforward fraud/theft and therefore should be a case for the police to handle. Why is the Financial Regulator spending time and money on such activity, especially when the amounts, in financial industry terms are trivial, when they have such a problem controlling other entities that have lost £bns.
    It is a clear sign that they have lost all sense of what should be prioritised – a quick and easy headline case, of little structural merit takes precedence over more serious matters.

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