A 23-year-old financier who garnered headlines after reportedly running up a bar bill of more than $315,000 last month has been arrested over suspected unauthorized trading.
Alex Hope's spending during a night out in Liverpool, England, included a near-8 gallon bottle of Armand de Brignac Champagne known as the Ace of Spades that had to be carried to his table by two people. It alone was worth nearly $200,000, "the drinks business" website reported. It said this was a world-record bar bill at a nightclub, beating the previous record of $270,000 by U.S gambler Don Johnson in London last year.
"After just three years in finance, Hope is well known in the industry as a high flyer, and has been tipped by many to become one of the biggest traders in London," the website said last month.
However, the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority posted a statement on its website on Tuesday saying police had carried out a search of an address in East London "into a suspected unauthorized foreign exchange trading scheme."
"A 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of committing offenses" under financial and fraud regulations, the FSA said, adding that the man had not been charged "at this stage."
'I can't talk'
A FSA spokesman declined to comment on his identity when contacted by msnbc.com Thursday, but newspapers reportedly widely that it was Hope.
"I can't talk. I've got no comment whatsoever, to be honest with you ... I don't want to comment on anything,” Hope told The Guardian.
He has been more talkative in the past.
Hope set up a "showreel" on YouTube, in which he said, "you don’t see a lot of people my age in the City [of London] doing what I do and I feel I've got lots of good opinions of the markets as well which you don't hear from people my age."
Hope also promoted himself on his blog, alexhopefx, and on Facebook.
"Alex knows and loves the FX [foreign exchange] market. Throughout his youth, his passions were football and…currencies! At the age of 11, Alex had a deep-rooted interest in the different currencies and relished trips across Europe where he could explore this interest first hand," he wrote on the blog, according to the Daily Mail.
"Opening his first account with just £500, in one day he'd doubled his money and turned the £500 into £1,100 by trading gold. A talented, charismatic and thoroughly likeable man, Alex Hope exudes knowledge and you can't help but respect and admire this self-taught and self-made young trader. Watch out trading markets, Alex Hope is kicking up a storm!"
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