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Markets regulator Sebi today asked MMF Solutions and its proprietor Priyansh Patodi to refund over Rs 64 lakh collected from clients through unregistered investment advisory as well as research analyst services.
Besides, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi)has barred them from the markets for at least four years, it said in an order.
The regulator found that MMF Solutions and Patodi were giving trading tips, stock specific recommendations, among others to investors, on payment of fees.
Also, they were broadcasting daily SMS containing equity tips and market updates, issuance of weekly reports to the investors, it noted.
They were carrying out these activities without obtaining registration from Sebi. By acting as advisors, research analysts and portfolio managers, they have violated the provisions of Sebi Investment Advisers norms.
In order to safeguard the interest of the investors and their investments, and to further ensure orderly development of securities market, the regulator said it becomes necessary to issue appropriate directions against them.
The entities received over Rs 64.27 lakh from their unregistered services for the period from October 2013 to January 2016.
"It would be reasonable that such funds collected in any name are liable to be returned to the clients," Sebi noted.
Accordingly, Sebi has asked MMF Solutions and Patodi to refund the money received from the clients in respect of the unregistered investment advisory activities, research analyst services and portfolio manager services and submit a report in this regard within a period of three months.
Further, they have been prohibited from accessing the securities market "till the expiry of four years from the date of refund of the money".
Besides, they "shall not undertake, either directly or indirectly, investment advisory services or any activity in the securities market without obtaining a certificate of registration from Sebi...after the expiry of period of debarment."
In case of failure to comply with the directions, Sebi on expiry of three months period, may recover such amounts.