Actor Arshad Warsi, 44 Others Banned On Stock Market Over YouTube Scam

Popular Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi and his wife Maria Goretti, are among 45 individuals and companies banned by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) from participating in the securities market, officials said on Thursday. The decision comes after an investigation into allegations of share price manipulation by certain entities of two companies, Sharpline Broadcast Ltd and Sadhna Broadcast Ltd, through uploading misleading videos on YouTube channels.

SEBI found that certain individuals uploaded false and misleading videos recommending investors buy shares of Sadhna Broadcast Ltd and Sharpline Broadcast Ltd for extraordinary profits. In addition to Arshad Warsi and Maria Goretti, some promoters of Sadhna Broadcast Ltd have also been restrained from participating in the securities market.

Along with the ban, SEBI has impounded illegal gains worth ₹ 54 crore made by the entities after misleading videos were uploaded on YouTube channels. Two separate interim orders detail the investigation’s findings.

According to the interim order, Arshad Warsi made a profit of ₹ 29.43 lakh, Maria Goretti earned a profit of ₹ 37.56 lakh, and Iqbal Hussain Warsi made a gain of ₹ 9.34 lakh. These three individuals, among others, have been classified as volume creators by SEBI.

The investigation began after SEBI received complaints alleging that certain entities were engaging in price manipulation and offloading shares of Sadhna Broadcast Ltd and Sharpline Broadcast Ltd. The complaints alleged that misleading videos with false content about the two companies were uploaded to lure investors.

SEBI conducted an examination from April-September 2022 and found that there was a significant increase in the price and volume of shares of the two companies between April and mid-July 2022. False and misleading videos about Sadhna Broadcast Ltd were uploaded on two YouTube channels, The Advisor and Moneywise, during the second half of July 2022. Similarly, similar videos about Sharpline Broadcast Ltd were uploaded on two YouTube channels, Midcap calls and Profit Yatra, in the second half of May 2022.

The data from the Ipsos Global Advisor Predictions polls from 2019–2023 suggest that the global stock markets might crash in 2023, as the majority of the respondents from all around the world said that the likelihood of a worldwide stock market meltdown in 2023 was higher than it was lower.

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