In sentencing him, Her Honour Judge Taylor highlighted the blatant and repeated nature of his offending and his continued flouting of court orders.
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement & Market Oversight at the FCA, said:
“Mr Hope repeatedly misled the courts and the FCA, concealing monies that should have been used to compensate the victims of his crimes. Throughout the course of proceedings, he has shown contempt not only to the court, but also those he has harmed. Today’s outcome sends a clear message. We will continue to pursue wrongdoers and hold them fully to account.”
Today’s outcome follows earlier action taken by the FCA against Mr Hope as a result of his criminal conduct.
On 30 January 2015 at Southwark Crown Court, Mr Hope was sentenced to a total of 7 years’ imprisonment for defrauding over 100 investors of more than £5.5 million by operating a collective investment scheme without authorisation. He persuaded them to part with their money on the promise that it would be invested on foreign exchange markets and generate significant returns. In reality, most of the monies were used to fund Mr Hope’s lavish lifestyle.
On 12 February 2016, a confiscation order in the sum of £166,696 was made against Mr Hope. He was ordered to pay the sum within 3 months. The Court ordered all monies confiscated from Mr Hope to be used to compensate the victims of his crimes and that a further £2.65 million held in his bank and trading accounts to be returned directly to investors.
By 27 September 2016, he had paid just £1,000 in satisfaction of his confiscation order and was committed to prison for an additional 603 days at a hearing before the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
In the months between the making of the confiscation order and his committal to prison, Mr Hope opened 5 new bank accounts, which he used to receive in excess of £75,000. The majority of those funds were withdrawn in cash or used to fund his lifestyle. On one occasion, he obtained €25,000 in €200 notes from a money service bureau in Victoria. He also used the accounts to purchase tickets to a Rihanna concert at Wembley Stadium and an Anthony Joshua fight at the O2 amongst other things. All of this activity was carried out at a time when Mr Hope was on ‘day release’ from HMP Ford to attend a work placement in Central London and whilst serving the 7 year sentence imposed in January 2015.
Mr Hope’s activities were also in breach of the terms of a restraint order made in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 by Southwark Crown Court in April 2012. That order prevented Mr Hope from dealing with, disposing of or diminishing the value of any asset in which he had an interest and barred him from operating a bank account without the consent of the FCA or an order of the Crown Court. In addition, under that order, Mr Hope was required to disclose his financial position to the FCA and the Crown Court. He did not. Instead, he repeatedly misled the FCA, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service and judges of the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts about his ability to satisfy his confiscation order.
On 30 November 2017, Mr Hope was released from prison whereupon he was arrested and charged with perverting the course of justice. He appeared before Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court later that day and has been remanded in custody since.
Notes to editors
- On 7 March 2017 Mr Hope pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at Inner London Crown Court.
- A current indictment is available from the FCA press office.
- On 30 January 2015 Mr Hope was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for fraud and operating a collective investment scheme without authorisation.
- Press release related to Mr Hope’s confiscation order.
- On 27 September 2016 Mr Hope was committed to prison for a further 603 days by the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court as a result of him having only paid £1,000 towards his confiscation order
- On 30 November 2017, Mr Hope was charged with perverting the course of justice.
- On 9 January 2018 a final notice banning Alex Hope from the financial services industry was issued.
- On 1 April 2013, the FCA became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
- The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
- Find out more information about the FCA.