A fraudulent foreign exchange trader who is already in prison for defrauding investors of around $7.3 million has pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice, according to the Financial Conduct Authority of the U.K.
Alex Hope, who pleaded guilty today, was remanded in custody to be sentenced at the Inner London Crown Court on March 15.
Back in 2015, fake forex trader Hope had already been sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment after being found guilty of operating a fraudulent investment scheme. The scam, which was likened to a Ponzi scheme, claimed to make large returns for investors from the profits of his forex trading.
Hope was convicted of duping investors out of £5.6 million, having previously pleaded guilty to operating a collective investment scheme without authorisation.
Hope was ordered through a confiscation order in February in 2016 to pay back £166,696, but he paid just £1,000 before the payment deadline.
Between March 2011 and April 2012, more than 100 investors entrusted £5.5 million with Hope who promised to use their monies to trade on the foreign exchange market. However only 12% of the total sum that the investors gave was ever traded, and when Hope did trade he lost more than £500,000 of the £650,000 held in his trading accounts.
He was also charged with using the misappropriated funds to fund his extravagant lifestyle. Alex blew vast sums in casinos, hotels and clubs around the world and infamously dropped £125,000 on a single bottle of champagne.
According to the court findings, he spent more than £1 million in a casino, over £200,000 on designer watches and shoes, £60,000 on foreign travel, and at least £600,000 in bars and nightclubs in London, Miami and New York.
As a result of an FCA investigation, almost £2.65 million of the amount taken from the investors was identified and frozen in accounts controlled by Hope, and returned to investors over the last two years.
Hope will also continue to be liable for the outstanding debt in relation to the confiscation order, even after having served the sentence in default of payment.