Sebi noted that Tips4Market (T4M) was soliciting and inducing investors to deal in securities market on the basis of investment advice, stock tips, among others, prima facie, without having the requisite registration as mandated under the investment advisers (IA) norms.
The amount of money collected by the company was Rs 96.6 lakh from investors through such services during the period from August 2011 to November 2020.
By indulging in such activities, they violated the provisions of Investment Advisers (IA) Regulations, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a final order on Friday.
Accordingly, the regulator has directed Tips4Market and its sole proprietor Ramani to refund the money received from the client as fees in respect of their unregistered investment advisory activities within three months.
Also, they have been prohibited from accessing the securities market and further prohibited from buying, selling or dealing in the securities market for two years or till the expiry of two years from the date of completion of refunds to investors, whichever is later.
In addition, they have been restrained from associating with any listed company or any registered intermediary during such period.
The order comes into force with immediate effect, Sebi said.
However, in view of the exceptional circumstances emerged due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and consequential lockdowns imposed in different parts of the country, the direction related to refund will come into force on July 1, 2021, it added.
Earlier, Sebi, through an interim order in November 2020, had restrained them from the capital markets till further orders for providing unauthorised trading tips to investors.
Besides, they were prohibited from carrying out investment advisory services till further orders.
In four separate orders, Sebi imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on Santowin Corporation Ltd, Rs 3 lakh on Ashok B Gupta and Rs 2 lakh each on Ankush Ashok Gupta, Akshat Ashok Gupta and Sushma Ashok Gupta for violating insider trading norms.
They failed to adhere to disclosure requirement as mandated under Prohibition of Insider Trading (PIT) rules on several occasions during 2011 to 2014.
Sebi conducted an investigation with respect to the alleged irregularities in the scrip of Santowin during the period from January 2011 to December 2014.
The regulator observed that certain entities including these individuals had transacted in the scrip of the Santowin on multiple occasions, during the investigation period. PTI SP