£2.9 million to be returned to investors following FCA prosecution

Southwark Crown Court today ordered almost £2.65 million to be returned to investors who had invested in a fraudulent collective scheme established and operated by Alex Hope. In addition, Mr Hope was made the subject of a Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) confiscation order in the sum of £166,696. Mr Hope must pay the order in full within three months or face a further sentence of 20 months’ imprisonment in default, consecutive to the seven year sentence imposed upon him in January 2015 .

Today’s orders follow a confiscation order made against Raj Von Badlo, Alex Hope’s co-defendant, who was ordered to pay £99,819 at a hearing on 18 December 2015. The sum, which represents his benefit from his involvement in the fraudulent scheme, must be paid in full within 3 months or he will face a further sentence of 15 months’ imprisonment in default,  consecutive to the two year sentence he received in January last year. In addition, Mr Von Badlo was made the subject of a compliance order that prevents him leaving the UK until his confiscation order is satisfied in full.

Today’s orders were made by Her Honour Judge Taylor who directed that all sums confiscated from Mr Hope and Mr Von Badlo be paid by way of compensation to the investors who were victims of their crimes. In total, investors should therefore expect to receive in excess of £2.9 million, which equates to approximately 55% of the capital sums that are owed to them.

Mark Steward, the FCA’s Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight said:

“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 Mr Hope’s offending. The FCA will continue to work hard to ensure wrongdoers are held to account not only for their wrongdoing but also for its consequences, especially to victims, to the fullest extent possible.”

Notes for editors

  1. Confiscation orders amounting to £11,093,164 and have been obtained by the FCA and its predecessor, the FSA. As of today’s date, in those cases where time to pay has expired, all bar two have been satisfied in full, which equates to a collection rate of over 96% of the sums due.

    Other successful POCA outcomes in the past 12 months include:

    • Confiscation orders made against James and Miranda Sanders in 2014 following their conviction for insider dealing being satisfied in full. The two orders totalled £1,948,895;
    • Ross Peters committal to prison for 6 months following admissions to his breaching a restraint order by, among other things, dissipating over £237,000 from bank accounts and disposing of Rolex watches and two racehorses. This period of imprisonment was in addition to his 5 year sentence imposed as a result of his role in the unlawful operation of an unauthorised collective investment scheme.
    • Pardip Saini, who was convicted for his involvement in an insider dealing ring, being sentenced to a further 528 days’ imprisonment having paid only half of the £464,564.91 confiscation order made against him. He was the first defendant to be returned to prison for failing to pay a confiscation order following an FSA/FCA prosecution. His five co-defendants and another, Richard Joseph (who was convicted in a linked trial) have all paid their confiscation orders totalling almost £2.8 million in full. The £2,170,191.40 confiscation order made against Mr Joseph, a former futures trader, remains the largest ever obtained by the FSA/FCA against a single defendant.
  1. On the 1 April 2013 the Financial Conduct Authority (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)
  2. 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
  3. Find out more information about the FCA, as well as how it is different to the PRA