A landmark legal prosecution concluded today in the UK, as Alex Hope and his accomplice in investment fraudulent activities Raj Von Badlo (also known as Raj Shastri), were both sentenced to prison.
Alex Hope will spend the next seven years in prison, the harshest punishment imposed following prosecution by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or its predecessor the Financial Services Authority (FSA) ever. To be more precise, Hope was sentenced to 7 years in prison on counts for defrauding investors of large sums and to 16 months in prison for operating a collective investment scheme without authorization. Both sentences, however, will be run concurrently.
The sentence was passed on January 30, 2015, three weeks after a jury had convicted Hope of fraud.
In determining the sentence, the Judge at the Southwark Crown Court, stressed the hefty impact the fraud had had on investors and the lack of remorse displayed by Hope.
Raj Von Badlo got a sentence of 2 years in prison for misleading investors with false statements and to 12 months in jail for promoting a collective investment scheme without authorization. Both sentences will be run concurrently.
The story of the fraudulent scheme operated by Hope is well known mostly for its large size – more than 100 investors entrusted Hope with over £5.5 million ($8.27 million). The scheme was shut by the FCA in April 2012, with Hope arrested. Von Badlo was arrested a month later.
Hope lured investors promising to invest their money successfully in the Forex market. In fact, only 12% of the amount was used for trading which can hardly be called successful. The majority of client funds went to Hope’s personal accounts and was spent on parties, luxurious accessories and travel.
Commenting on the sentences, Georgina Philippou, acting director of enforcement and market oversight, said:
“This case shows that the FCA will vigorously protect consumers from those who break the law and do whatever it can to get their money back to them.”
To read the official announcement by the FCA, simply follow this link.