A convicted rogue trader went on a £75,000 spending spree while on day release from prison – when he should have been working in a food bank. Alex Hope, 29, was jailed for seven years in 2015 for swindling £5.5 million out of his investors to fund his lavish lifestyle.
He was then ordered to serve an extra 18 months behind bars in September 2016 after handing over just £1,000 of a £166,696 confiscation order imposed in February 2016,UK Metro reports.
But the unrepentant swindler wrote to his offending manager, saying he wanted to be allowed out on day release so he could volunteer at a food bank in Brixton. Instead of helping the needy, the fraudster went on a £75,000 spending spree, which included sending a bottle of champagne to pop star Rihanna.
d his extravagant activities. Southwark Crown Court heard some of the £75,000 was traced back to West End tickets for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a Rihanna concert, boxing match tickets, and splurges at Tesco on prosecco and vodka.
Judge Deborah Taylor said:
‘No explanation has been given as to where the money came from or where it has gone. ‘This behaviour would be treated as contempt of court. It is repeated and blatant offending.’
Prosecutors said that Hope ‘deliberately misled’ the justice system by lying about the accounts, while asking the courts for more time to pay back money to investors.
The judge heard that the withdrawals were always made from banks on days when he was on temporary release, and in close proximity to where he had been dropped off.
Ms Clarke said that four tickets for a Rihanna gig was ‘clear evidence’ that it was for Hope’s ‘personal benefit’ because there was evidence Hope had sent a bottle of champagne over to the singer’s table at a nightclub.
Hope was released from Brixton prison on 30 November 2016 and immediately re-arreseted. He had three bank cards in his possession, it was said. Hope, of Pan Peninsula, Canary Wharf, east London, admitted one count of perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to 16 months.