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Sebi bars three individuals for spreading stock tips through Telegram

Regulator says mere disclaimer does not exonerate manipulators from nefarious scheme


Khushboo Tiwari Mumbai

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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Wednesday barred three individuals from the securities market for three years and imposed penalties of over Rs 5.68 crore for spreading manipulative information via Telegram app. 

Administrators of Telegram channel ‘@bullrun2017’ – Bull Run Investment Educational Channel, namely Himanshu Mahendrabhai Patel, Raj Mahendrabhai Patel, and Jaydev Zala have been charged of fraudulent trade practices.

Calling it a variation of pump-and-dump scheme, Sebi noted that the individuals bought shares of certain companies ahead of giving 'buy' recommendations on those scrips through the Telegram channel.

The channel, with over 49,000 subscribers, was used to disseminate false and misleading messages recommending buying these stocks and were used to book profits from the resulting impact on price and volumes.

“A mere disclaimer in the Telegram Channel description, amidst the aforesaid false claims, stating that the subscribers should consult their financial advisor, does not exonerate them from the nefarious scheme deployed through which large sums of unlawful profits have been generated by them, without disclosure of their own interest in the scrips,” Sebi noted in the order.

Sebi has also directed to freeze their existing holdings of securities and units of mutual funds during this period along with an order to disgorge the unlawful gains of Rs 1.85 crore.

Further, the market regulator has debarred three others for one year each from the securities market for facilitating the manipulative schemes with fines of Rs 5 lakh each.

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First Published: Apr 26 2023 | 8:46 PM IST

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