Infusing hope among hundreds of investors, the Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened its noose on the big time scamster in Nagpur – Prashant Wasankar of Wasankar Wealth Management to repay all his investors as early as September 3. Meanwhile another fraudster Sameer Joshi, mastermind of the infamous Shreesurya Investment scam has submitted a guarantee bond in the court, promising to pay all the investors’ money within one year of getting bail. Both Wasankar and Joshi are currently cooling their heels in the jail.
On Wednesday, SEBI passed an order directing Wasankar Wealth Management Limited, Wasankar Investments and related entities/persons to refund the money collected from investors and their clients within a period of seven days i.e. by September 3. The firms have also prohibited from transferring the funds elsewhere or offering portfolio management activities. The order, signed by full time SEBI member Rajeev Kumar Agarwal, directed Wasankar firms and Prashant Wasankar, Vinay Wasankar. Mithila Wasankar, Abhijit Wasankar and Bhagyashree Wasankar to refund the money to investors ‘along with income, profits or returns promised to them under such schemes or interest at the rate of 10% per annum. whichever is higher from the date of investment till the date of refund, within a period of seven days from the date of this order. Wasankar firms and the directors have also been asked to submit a repayment report to SEBI.
The market regulator has found that Wasankar has been collecting funds even before he was registered as a sub-broker, which is the lowest level of a market intermediatory.
The order, issued on Wednesday, has also been forwarded to other agencies like the enforcement directorate, financial intelligence unit, economic offences wing and the income tax department for taking further action if needed.
However, even as SEBI wants the money to be repaid, the order does not mention the amount owed by Wasankar or his companies to the investors. According to the findings by Sebi, data found in the Wasankar’s computer puts the number of clients at 9,576 with their mobile numbers also available.
Wasankar has also collected an advisory fee from the clients. However, there was a huge mismatch in the data regarding the clients provided by Wasankar to Sebi and that relating to amount collected as fee from them. His business was not limited to Nagpur and the clients spread across the length and breadth of the country with some in UAE and US too.
Meanwhile, the kingpin of Shreesurya Investment scam and Group’s Chairman Sameer Joshi who duped many investors to the tune of crores of rupees, has submitted a guarantee bond in the special court of Justice SP Mule in order to seek his bail. In this bond, Joshi has given submission of returning all the money of investors within a period of one year from the date of getting the bail. Joshi is currently in Nagpur Central Jail.
The court reserved its order after hearing his submission. Countering to Joshi’s claim, advocate BM Karade who represented the investors, informed that he would ask for the source of returning money in the next hearing. Joshi was arrested following a complaint against him lodged by an investor Amit More on October 15, 2013. Later on October 29, 2013, his wife and Shreesurya Group’s Director Pallavi Joshi was also arrested.