Sebi slaps market ban on Warsi, 44 others for share price manipulation
NEW DELHI: Sebi on Thursday barred 45 entities, including actor Arshad Warsi, his wife Maria Goretti and others, from the securities market in cases related to manipulating the share prices of two companies through uploading misleading videos on YouTube channels.
The cases pertain to uploading misleading videos on YouTube channels and recommending investors to buy the shares of Sadhna Broadcast Ltd and Sharpline Broadcast Ltd.
Apart from the couple, some of the promoters of Sadhna Broadcast have been restrained from the securities market for their involvement.
In addition to market ban, the regulator has impounded illegal gains to the tune of Rs 54 crore made by the entities after misleading videos were uploaded on YouTube channels, according to two separate interim orders.
In the case of Sadhna Broadcast, Sebi noted that Arshad Warsi has made a profit of Rs 29.43 lakh and his wife has earned profit of Rs 37.56 lakh. Also, Iqbal Hussain Warsi has gained Rs 9.34 lakh. These three among others have been classified as volume creators by the capital markets regulator.
The two orders came after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) received certain complaints wherein it was alleged that there was price manipulation and offloading of shares by certain entities in the scrip of television channel Sadhna Broadcast and New Delhi-based Sharpline Broadcast.
The complaints alleged that misleading YouTube videos with false content about the two companies were uploaded to lure investors.
Following this, the regulator conducted an examination during April-September 2022 and found that spurt in the price and volume of scrip of the two companies between April and mid-July 2022.
During the second half of July 2022, false and misleading videos about Sadhna were uploaded on two YouTube channels -- The Advisor and Moneywise.
Similar videos about Sharpline were also uploaded on two YouTube channels- Midcap calls and Profit Yatra in the second half of May last year.
These YouTube videos peddled false and misleading news to recommend that investors should buy shares of Sadhna and Sharpline for extraordinary profits, Sebi said in its two separate interim orders.
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