SEBI Imposes 10-Year Ban On 19 Entities For Fraudulent Act

Cracking the whip on fraudulent activities, Sebi on Tuesday barred stock broker Unickon Securities and 18 other entities from the capital market for 10 years.

Unickon Securities has been restrained for alleged fraudulent transfer of clients’ securities to group entities of Unickon Financial Intermediaries and other violations of capital market regulations.

In its 69-page order, Sebi Whole-Time Member S Raman said the activities of Unickon Securities and its directors along with group entities and associate companies of Unickon financial intermediaries clearly exhibit the web of deceit and conspiracy hatched by them.

“The immediate and proximate facts and circumstances surrounding the afore-mentioned activities unmistakably indicate that they were deliberate acts done to further the underlying fraudulent object of defrauding investors in the securities market i.e. Unickon Securities clients,” he noted.

“This is clearly a case of total and deliberate misutilisation of clients’ funds and securities in the most callous manner.” Apart from Unickon Securities, other entities who have been barred for 10 years include directors Ram Mohan Gupta and Gajendra Nagpal, i360 Staffing and Training Solutions and Unickon Fincap.

According to Sebi, Unickon Securities misutilised clients’ funds and securities and diverted them for utilisation by itself as well as its group entities, the order said. It was also found that Unickon Securities extended margin trading facility to its clients without obtaining requisite approval from stock exchanges.

Among others, the entity failed to segregate its funds from that of clients. According to the order, fraudulent activities such as what have been observed in the instant proceedings pose a real threat to the integrity of the securities market.

Through an interim order in May 2014, Sebi had restrained Unickon Securities and its directors — Ram Mohan Gupta and Gajendra Nagpal — were restrained from the securities market till further directions.

Since the three entities have already undergone debarment for nearly two years, that time would be taken into consideration while computing the latest restraint for 10 years. Besides, Unickon Securities former compliance officer Neeraj Grover has been prohibited from the securities market for two years.

During the period from January 2014, Sebi had received numerous complaints against Unickon Securities alleging non receipt/delay in payment of funds and securities. Following the complaints, the regulator started an inquiry and in March 2014, conducted an inspection of the stock broking and depository participant operations of Unickon Securities.


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