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Champagne fraudster ordered to pay back £2.7m

Alex Hope ordered to pay back £2.7 million of the £5 million he made from investors in an unauthorised investment scheme.

Champagne fraudster ordered to pay back £2.7m

Southwark Crown Court has ordered the so-called ‘champagne fraudster’ Alex Hope to pay back £2.7 million he made from a fraudulent investment scheme.

Hope has also been issued with a confiscation order for £167,000.

The amounts are only a portion of the reported £5 million Hope made from 100 investors through running an unauthorised foreign exchange trading scheme.

A previous investment scheme made Hope another £1.8 million.

The scheme he promoted to investors claimed to carry out foreign exchange trading for the benefit of investors. At the height of his wealth Hope spent £200,000 on a single round of drinks, including a £125,000 double Nebuchadnezzar bottle of champagne

However following an investigation, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) shut down his scheme in 2012.

In January 2014 he was handed a seven-year prison sentence after a court found him guilty of fraud.

Hope’s co-defendant in the case, Raj Von Badlo, was handed a confiscation order for £99,800 last December, which represented the amount he benefited from the scheme.

As a result of the orders the Financial Conduct Authority expects to pay investors £2.9 million, just over half the amount lost in the scheme.

It is the largest amount obtained for fraud victims as a result of legal action launched by the FCA or its predecessor the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight, said it was able to claim the money back because the regulator acted quickly against Hope and his co-defendant.

‘This is the largest sum returned to victims of crime following an FSA/FCA prosecution and is the result of quick action in the first instance to restrain the proceeds of Hope’s offending,’ he said.  

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