Wednesday, 07 March 2018 15:46

Lavish UCIS fraudster guilty of perverting justice

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A fraudster sent to jail after he used clients’ millions to fund a lavish lifestyle today pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Alex Hope, who helped run an unauthorised collective investment scheme, was entrusted by 100 investors with £5.5m but spent a “significant proportion on a lavish lifestyle, including gifts to family and friends.”

The charge against him today at Inner London Crown Court related to his conduct following the imposition of a restraint order in 2012 and a confiscation order in 2016 arising from criminal proceedings brought by the FCA.

In January he was banned by the FCA after being handed a final notice.

In September 2016 he was sent to jail for an extra 603 days – on top of the 7 years he was already given.

An FCA statement read: “On 9 January 2015, Mr Hope was convicted of defrauding investors of significant sums, having previously pleaded guilty to operating a collective investment scheme without authorisation.

“In total, over 100 investors entrusted Mr Hope with over £5.5 million on the promise that their funds would be used to generate substantial returns by his trading on the foreign exchange markets.

“In reality, only 12% of the total sum investors gave was ever traded and when Mr Hope did trade he lost almost all of the money in his trading accounts.

“As a result of the work of the FCA, almost £2.65 million was identified and frozen in accounts controlled by Mr 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 Mr Hope was ordered to pay a sum equal to the value of the gifts he made to friends and family.

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

Mr Hope was today remanded in custody until Thursday 15 March, when it is anticipated that a date for sentencing will be set. 

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