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Business News/ News / India/  ‘Short circuit’: After SEBI ban, Arshad Warsi claims to have zero knowledge about stocks
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‘Short circuit’: After SEBI ban, Arshad Warsi claims to have zero knowledge about stocks

SEBI has banned several entities, including actor Arshad Warsi and his wife Maria Goretti, from the securities market in a case related to uploading misleading videos on YouTube channels recommending investors to buy the company's shares.

SEBI's orders are related to pump-and-dump schemes.Premium
SEBI's orders are related to pump-and-dump schemes.

Arshad Warsi and wife Maria Goretti have been implicated in a case related to misleading videos posted on YouTube channels that encouraged investors to buy shares in Sadhna Broadcast, a company accused of price manipulation.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has banned several entities, including Warsi, Goretti, YouTuber Manish Mishra and promoters of Sadhna Broadcast, from the securities market. According to SEBI, Warsi profited 29.43 lakh and Goretti earned a profit of 37.56 lakh from the scheme.

SEBI has issued two interim ex-parte orders that have restrained 29 individuals from buying, selling, or dealing in securities either directly or indirectly until further orders. The orders are related to pump-and-dump schemes, which refer to the practice of artificially inflating share prices by encouraging investors to buy shares in a company and then selling one's own shares while the prices are high.

Also Read: Pump-and-dump lands Arshad Warsi in SEBI net

Warsi and Goretti were found to be "volume creators" (VCs) who contributed to a rise in trading volumes and interest in the scrip by buying and selling shares of Sadhna during April-July 2022. SEBI received complaints alleging price manipulation and offloading of shares by certain entities in the scrip of Sharpline Broadcast.

The misleading YouTube videos are no longer publicly available, but they are in SEBI's records. Warsi took to Twitter and denied the allegations against him and his wife, stating that they lack knowledge of the stock market and requesting everyone not to believe hearsay.

“Please do not believe everything you read in the news. Maria and my knowledge about stocks is zero, took advice and invested in Sharda, and like many other, lost all our hard earned money," he wrote.

Also Read: 'SEBI is killing it': Zerodha's Nithin Kamath hails regulator's order cracking down on stock manipulation via YouTube

Some Twitter users argued that it was not news, but a SEBI order that had been followed by an investigation by the regulator. One of them advised him to deal in cryptocurrencies. “Welcome to Crypto. No SEBI, No Ban, No Upper circuit, no lower circuit, overall no short circuit," the user wrote.

The complaints alleged that YouTube videos with false content, backed by paid marketing campaigns worth crores of rupees for additional reach, were being uploaded to lure investors.

SEBI found that false and misleading videos about Sadhna Broadcast were uploaded on two YouTube channels, The Advisor and Moneywise, in the second half of July 2022, peddling false and misleading news to recommend that investors should buy the Sadhna stock for extraordinary profits.

The videos claimed that the company had a 5G licence and would be taken over by Adani group, and that the margins of the company would increase after the deal. SEBI found recommendations in the videos that were misleading and false.

SEBI's investigation revealed that these channels had lakhs of subscribers and the misleading videos had millions of viewers, aided by paid advertising campaigns. The company refuted the claims when BSE sought clarification about the information being circulated on social media.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and sports. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Published: 03 Mar 2023, 05:59 AM IST
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