SEBI Asks Siddhant Suresh Chandan To Pay Rs2 Lakh Penalty for Providing Illegal Investment Advisory on Telegram
Moneylife Digital Team 16 March 2023
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs2 lakh on one Siddhant Suresh Chandan for providing investment advisory services through his channel on Telegram. He is also directed to refund the amount collected as fees to concerned clients and to refrain from the security market for two years.
In the order, Dr Anitha Anoop, chief general manager (CGM) of SEBI, says, “I find that Siddhant Suresh Chandan was offering investment advisory services through his Telegram channel and was engaged in giving advice relating to investing in, purchasing, selling or otherwise dealing in securities or investment products. I further note that the noticee in his submissions has stated that he had handled the demat accounts of a few clients, i.e., merely two-four clients per month, and clients voluntarily provided him with their login ID and password to handle their demat account. The said submissions are nothing but an admission that he has handled client demat accounts while carrying out unregistered investment advisory services.”
SEBI received two complaints alleging that Mr Chandan had been operating a Telegram channel named ‘NO – Bank.Nifty.Options’, which provided market-related tips for fees ranging from Rs3,000 to Rs25,000. It was also alleged in the complaint that he handled demat accounts of clients by making false promises of guaranteed returns to the tune of 200%.
A perusal revealed that he had Rs4.09 crore and Rs7 lakh in his two bank accounts. 
In contention to the show-cause notice sent to him, Mr Chandan stated that he received the money from his father as a personal loan and from friends, relatives, and clients of his business who had lent him money to work for the products which he used to sell as it was drop shipping business.
Even though he admitted that he operated the Telegram channel and performed illegal advisory, Mr Chandan pleaded to SEBI that he was very young when he started this and was unaware that prior registration was required to act as an investment adviser. He also stated that many others have indulged in a similar violation. 
Regarding the fees charged, he denied that he charged huge amounts as fees. He admitted that he had operated demat accounts of some clients.
After perusing his bank accounts, SEBI found that a considerable number of credit entries were titled with words related to stocks and the security market. Since the illegal adviser accepted the violations he committed, the market regulator directed him to refund the amount collected as fees from clients and pay a penalty of Rs2 lakh within 45 days. 
(QJA/AA/WRO/WRO/24640/2022-23   Date: 15 March 2023)
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