Mr. Hope was initially arrested as early as April 3, 2012, following allegations of fraud and embezzlement of client funds for the use in casinos, nightclubs, and other non-stipulated activities. On April 23, 2014, nearly two years after his initial arrest, the FCA prosecuted Hope, after finding evidence of his FX scam.
According to Georgina Philippou, Acting Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, in a recent statement on the conviction, “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 unauthorized investment schemes, those who invested ended up with significant losses and the main beneficiary of the scheme was Hope himself.”
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“There is a reminder for consumers here that unauthorized investment schemes are often incredibly risky and if the promised investment returns seem too good to be true they most probably are. 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,” Philippou added.
Ahead of the trial itself, Mr. Hope’s co-defendant, Raj Von Badlo, also submitted a guilty plea for recklessly making false representations to investors and an added offence of promoting a collective investment scheme without authorization at a hearing on July 22, 2014.
The plea brings to light the ugly truth that has up until now reserved a shadow of doubt. “It’s difficult to discern how much Mr. Von Badlo knew about this scheme, even though he was so actively promoting it. It seems unlikely that they would have invested with Hope if he and his wife knew what was happening with investors’ money,” noted Sarah Clarke, a lawyer for the FCA, back in April’s arbitration.
As a result of the proceedings, Mr. Hope and Mr. Von Badlo will be sentenced on January 16, 2015.