NEW DELHI: Sebi has barred Equity Mania Financial Advisory and its sole proprietor Ankit Goel from the securities markets for two years and asked them to refund the money collected from providing unauthorised investment tips to investors.

The regulator noted that Equity Mania Financial Advisory and Goel have carried out investment advisory activities without obtaining a certificate of registration from the regulator.

They have collected about Rs 43 lakh from 257 clients by offering its services, Sebi said.

Through such activities, they violated the provisions of investment advisers (IA) regulations, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in an order on Thursday.

“Noticees shall within a period of three months from the date of coming into force of this direction, refund the money received from the clients/investors/complainant, as fees or consideration or in any other form, in respect of their unregistered investment advisory activities,” the regulator said.

Equity Mania Financial Advisory and Goel are collectively referred as noticees.

Also, they have been barred 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 a 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.

Through an interim order in December 2020, Sebi had directed them to cease and desist from acting as investment advisors until further orders. Also, they were restrained from the securities market until further orders.

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