Hemat Ghai, his wife and mother caught by SEBI for indulging in fraudulent trading practices
The market regulator Stock Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Wednesday barred CNBC Awaaz TV anchor host Hemant Ghai, his wife and mother from the capital markets for indulging in fraudulent trading practices. Hemant Ghai, the business journalist had the advance information about the recommendation to be made on the “stock 20-20” show, co-hosted by him, and that he directly or indirectly used it to his advantage, SEBI said in an interim order. The show features recommendations on certain stocks to be bought and sold during the day.
In addition, he has been directed to cease and desist from undertaking any activity related to giving investment advice, publishing of research reports related to the securities market, till further directions. Further, the capital markets watchdog has also directed to impound the proceeds of Rs.2.95 crores generated by fraudulent trades. SEBI, prima facie, found that Hemant along with his wife Jaya Hemant Ghai and mother Shyam Mohini Ghai employed a scheme to conduct fraudulent or unfair trading based on the advance information pertaining to recommendations to be made in the show “stock-20-20”.
Jaya Hemant Ghai and Shyam Mohini Ghai are also liable for the violations, related to the trades done/ facilitated in their accounts by him.
On analysis of the trading pattern in the trading account of Jaya Hemant Ghai and Shyam Mohini Ghai for the period between January 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020, the high correlation of their trades was observed with the stocks recommended in the show. It thereby generated the proceeds of Rs.2.95 crores by carrying out fraudulent trading in respect of recommended stocks. The regulator found that shares were consistently purchased in the trading accounts of Hemant Ghai’s wife and mother, one day prior to the day of recommendation on the show.
To capture the significant benefits from the price movement caused by the recommendations on the show, they then sold their shares as soon as the market opened on the day of the recommendation and consequently, earned profits and perpetrated a fraud upon the market and the viewers of the show, it added. Hemant was prima facie using the trading accounts of his wife and mother. Besides, Jaya Hemant Ghai and Shyam Mohini Ghai are also liable for the violations, related to the trades done/ facilitated in their accounts by him.
Accordingly, these individuals have been “restrained from buying, selling or dealing in securities, either directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever till further directions”. Also, copies of the order have been sent to CNBC–TV 18 and the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) for information and necessary action, if any, in terms of the code of conduct applicable to Hemant Ghai. In addition, CNBC-TV18 has been advised to inform viewers of the relevant shows, about the order.
This is not the first time business journalists are caught for stock exchange manipulations. Not only journalists, but many TV channels are also caught by SEBI. Recently NDTV promoter Prannoy Roy and wife Radhika Roy were banned from Stock Exchange for two years for illegal trading and making a huge profit of his NDTV through dubious deals. Prannoy Roy, wife and their shell company and NDTV have to pay fine of around Rs.44 crores for dubious activities and manipulations in Stock Exchange.
Raghav Bahl, former CNBC owner and now running Quint website was also caught by Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate of stock manipulation and money laundering.
 Tax Raids, Press Freedom or PMC Fincorp – What are you hiding Mr. Raghav bahl? – Oct 14, 2018, PGurus.com
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