LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - A jailed fraudster, who conned investors out of 5.5 million pounds ($7.6 million) by pretending to be a foreign exchange trader, was sentenced again by a London court on Friday after he opened five bank accounts under the radar of authorities.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Alex Hope, who was jailed for seven years in 2015, was sentenced to another 16 months after he received more than 75,000 pounds in the accounts and bought items such as tickets to a Rihanna pop concert.
He opened the accounts while on a work placement in London on “day release”, a programme that allows some British prisoners to spend time out of jail, the FCA said. A spokeswoman declined to give further details.
The FCA said Hope had breached a 2012 restraint order and a 2016 confiscation order that should have prevented him from dealing with assets or operating a bank account without permission, and required him to be honest about his finances.
Hope pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice earlier this month.
He was first jailed after passing himself off as a forex whiz to con more than 100 investors. He spent millions in casinos and on designer clothes and foreign travel, and more than 600,000 pounds ($850,000) in bars in London, Miami and New York, the FCA said.
He was arrested and his scheme was shut by the FCA in 2012, when he was 23 years old. Only 12 percent of the 5.5 million pounds he had raised was ever traded, and when Hope did trade, he lost almost all of the money, the FCA said at the time.
“Mr Hope repeatedly misled the courts and the FCA, concealing monies that should have been used to compensate the victims of his crimes,” said Mark Steward, the FCA’s head of enforcement. “Throughout the course of proceedings, he has shown contempt not only to the court, but also those he has harmed.”
$1 = 0.7210 pounds Reporting by Kirstin Ridley Editing by Peter Graff