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SEBI bans 45 individuals, companies from stock market owing to a YouTube scam, list includes actor Arshad Warsi and wife Maria: Full details

Arshad Warsi made a gain of Rs 29.43 lakh, Maria Goretti made a gain of Rs 37.56 lakh and his brother Iqbal Hussain Warsi made a gain of Rs 9.34 lakh, as per the interim order. SEBI has identified a handful of individuals as volume makers, including these three.

On Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) banned Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi and his wife Maria among 45 individuals and companies from participating in the securities market. The decision was rendered following an examination into claims that two firms, Sharpline Broadcast Ltd. and Sadhna Broadcast Ltd., through specific entities, had manipulated share prices by posting deceptive videos on YouTube channels.

The SEBI discovered that a few people published videos urging viewers to purchase shares of Sharpline Broadcast Ltd. and Sadhna Broadcast Ltd. in order to make tremendous gains. According to the reports, several promoters of Sadhna Broadcast Ltd. have also been prohibited from trading in securities, in addition to Arshad Warsi and Maria Goretti.

In addition to the ban, SEBI has seized unlawful earnings totalling Rs 54 crore that the organizations made as a result of deceptive videos that were published on YouTube channels. The investigation’s conclusions are described in two distinct interim orders.

Arshad Warsi made a gain of Rs 29.43 lakh, Maria Goretti made a gain of Rs 37.56 lakh and his brother Iqbal Hussain Warsi made a gain of Rs 9.34 lakh, as per the interim order. SEBI has identified a handful of individuals as volume makers, including these three.

Meanwhile, the actor took to Twitter and said that he and his wife had very less knowledge about the stocks and that he took the advice and invested in Sharda stocks. “Please do not believe everything you read in the news. Maria and my knowledge about stocks are zero, took the advice and invested in Sharda, and like many others, lost all our hard-earned money,” he tweeted.

Following reports to SEBI that some companies were selling shares of Sadhna Broadcast Ltd. and Sharpline Broadcast Ltd. while manipulating prices, the probe got underway. According to the allegations, fraudulent films containing deceptive information about the two firms were released in an effort to entice investors.

The price and volume of shares of the two firms increased significantly between April and mid-July 2022, according to a study done by SEBI from April to September 2022. During the second part of July 2022, two YouTube channels called ‘The Adviser’ and ‘Moneywise’ posted false and deceptive videos concerning Sadhna Broadcast Inc. Similar films concerning Sharpline Broadcast Ltd were also posted in the second part of May 2022 on the ‘Midcap calls’ and ‘Profit Yatra’ YouTube channels.

The entities were categorized by SEBI into groups such information carriers, net sellers, promoters, and profit-makers, as well as creators of YouTube channels. SEBI alleged that these organizations worked together to increase trading activity and investor interest in the shares, disseminate false and misleading YouTube videos, and persuade investors to purchase the shares at inflated prices, all in violation of the PFUTP (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) regulations. As a result of this method, net sellers/promoters as well as certain volume creators generated exceptional gains.

In the case of Sadhna Broadcast Ltd, SEBI discovered that the complex business practices used by the entities, including the gross misuse of false and deceptive YouTube videos, had resulted in a sharp rise in the number of small shareholders—from 2,167 to 55,343, who ultimately purchased shares at a premium. In the case of Sharpline Broadcast Ltd., there were 20,009 more minor owners than there were 517, years ago.

Until further orders, the SEBI has prohibited the 45 firms including Warsi and his wife from buying, selling, or dealing in securities either directly or indirectly, in any form whatever. Also, until the impounded sum is put in the escrow account, the businesses and the individuals have been instructed not to dispose of any assets, including money in bank accounts, without first receiving consent from SEBI.

Warsi, Goretti, and the other accused in the scam have been asked to deposit their gains with a designated bank within 15 days, with a lien being put in place in SEBI’s favor. They are also prohibited from trading on the stock market.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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