ALEX Hope, the 24-year-old trader who gained notoriety after running up a £200,000 bar bill at a Liverpool nightclub, was yesterday charged in relation to an unauthorised £5m investment scheme.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has accused Hope and his business associate Raj Von Badlo of a total of ten offences relating to a scheme that purported to trade foreign exchange on behalf of others. Both men are expected to deny the charges, although they couldn’t be reached.
Traders who speculate using investors’ money require FCA authorisation but Hope does not appear on the FCA’s list of approved persons.
Last year City A.M. revealed that the self-taught trader had been arrested just weeks after he shot to tabloid fame following a spending spree that saw him party with reality TV stars and spend £125,000 on a single bottle of champagne. The bottle, a double Nebuchadnezzar of Armand de Brignac, weighed 45kg and had to be carried across the club’s dancefloor on the shoulders of two waiters.
Hope, who previously worked at a Wembley stadium burger stall, employed a PR agency to build his profile and told interviewers that he taught himself economics after dropping out of a sports science degree.
His personal website, now deleted, described his “passion for currency” and said he was “a name to watch out for in the City” who regularly “traded millions”.
In a 2011 interview Hope said he had started running professional foreign exchange trading courses after teaching hundreds of friends to play the markets. “Those who put in the hours and have a real passion for it can find it really rewarding,” Hope said. “In a year or two I’d like to set up my own mini hedge fund.”
Hope, who lives in Docklands, and Von Badlo, of Buckinghamshire, have been bailed until next month.