The market regulator SEBI has debarred 7 persons and one company from the markets for 10 years for their role in the Rs 1,500 crore ‘StockGuru’ fraud. Besides, they have to refund the entire amount collected fraudulently from investors, along with an interest of 15 % p.a. Stockguru.india and its partners had also floated ‘Multi Level Marketing’ or ‘Ponzi’ schemes and raised money through dubious schemes using different names.
The order comes after a SEBI probe into complaints against Lokeshwar Dev and Priyanka Dev for fraudulently raising Rs 1,500 crore through sale of preference shares of a company SGI Research & Analysis Ltd. The probe found that the fraudsters had tricked the investors into investing with a promise of 18 % dividend, although the real assured dividend was just 0.12 %.
Besides, the money was mostly collected in cash to avoid any regulatory glare, as SGI’s bank account had entries for just Rs 44 lakh for subscription of shares by 162 persons. However, the SEBI ruled that make any such offer for share subscription to 50 or more persons makes it a public issue, thus making it compulsory to have SEBI approval.