Introduction: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has declared its opposition to so-called “influencers” who provide regular investors with financial advice. Recently, Mohammad Nasiruddin Ansari, the proprietor of “Baap of Chart” was prohibited from trading stocks by SEBI. This move is in response to allegations that Ansari misled investors while posing as a financial educator, which led to a ₹17.20 crore return order.
Who is Mohammad Nasiruddin Ansari?
“Baap of Chart” is the unique property of Muhammad Nasiruddin Ansari (BoC). He became well-known by establishing himself on multiple social media channels as an authority on the financial market. Ansari drew in customers and investors by providing a variety of “educational courses” about the securities industry. He persuaded people to invest in the stock market and buy his recommended stocks by offering near-certain returns.
How did Ansari Operate?
According to SEBI’s inquiry, Ansari used “Baap of Chart” to propose stocks for both buying and selling on a number of social media sites, including WhatsApp, Telegram, YouTube, X (previously Twitter), Instagram, and Facebook. Investors were referred to a website and apps that were hosted on a platform offered by Bunch Microtechnologies Pvt Ltd (Bunch) and could be found on Google Play and Apple’s App Store to enroll in his educational courses. Nineteen courses on the stock market were available from Ansari, four of which promised profits. Students engaged with “tutors” who shared information and conversed with them using the Bunch platform’s real-time chat feature.
The bank accounts of Ansari, BoC, Golden Syndicate Ventures Pvt Ltd (a business in which Ansari has a major ownership), and P. Rahul Rao (an additional major stakeholder of Golden Syndicate Ventures) were used to receive payments from investors. Asif Iqbal Wani, Tabraiz Abdullah, Mansha Abdullah, and Vamshi Jadhav were the other four Golden Syndicate Ventures directors that SEBI discovered to be engaged in unregistered investment advice operations. These people’s accounts were also credited with funds.
Baap of Chart’s Reach
Nasiruddin Ansari’s ‘Baap of Chart’ had a substantial following. His YouTube channel, @Baapofchart, boasted over 4.43 lakh subscribers and more than 7 crore views. He also operated a Telegram group/channel called ‘Baap Of Chart Option Hedging’ with around 53,000 subscribers. On Instagram and X, ‘baapofchart’ had approximately 59,000 and 78,000 followers, respectively. His WhatsApp channel had more than 13,000 followers.
Ansari continued to provide buy/sell recommendations to members until the first week of October 2023. Apart from online courses, he organized physical workshops in various cities to educate investors about the securities market.
Income from Fraudulent Activities
According to SEBI’s probe, Ansari made Rs 13.78 crore from workshops and courses that were advertised on Bunch’s website and mobile apps. The whole sum was regarded as fees from unlicensed and fraudulent investment advisory services. Via two UPI IDs connected to Ansari’s and BoC’s Kotak Mahindra Bank accounts, an extra Rs 3.42 crore was obtained. The internet and social media platforms made these UPI IDs available to the general public. Between January 2021 and July 2023, Ansari and his affiliated companies amassed a total of Rs 17.2 crore by deceiving and misrepresenting his workshops and courses to prospective students in order to persuade them to trade stocks.
SEBI’s Findings and Actions
Ansari and “Baap of Chart” are accused in SEBI’s interim order of deceiving the public into believing that their advising services are educational while, in reality, they involve fraudulent operations. The ruling implies that Ansari employed showmanship and theatrics to create the appearance of tremendous earnings, and that he attempted to draw others in with exaggerated promises of returns. The primary goal of their illegal operations, according to SEBI, was to get uneducated viewers to enroll in their programs and engage in securities market trading.
A warning to individuals who use financial education as a front for dishonest and fraudulent acts is issued by SEBI’s action against Mohammad Nasiruddin Ansari and “Baap of Chart.” The market watchdog has mandated that Ansari refrain from providing financial advice, stressed the need of safeguarding investors, and instructed him to place ₹17.20 crore in an escrow account in order to make up for the profits from his “educational courses.” Part of SEBI’s continuous efforts to uphold the integrity of the securities market and safeguard investors’ interests is this enforcement.
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