A Bollywood actor and a YouTube influencer are among dozens who have been banned from participating in India’s share market.
The market regulator said it made the decision after investigating allegations of price manipulation.
It said videos on four YouTube channels were used to artificially inflate values of certain shares.
Actor Arshad Warsi, implicated in the case with his wife, denied the allegations.
In its investigation, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said it found that YouTube channels The Advisor and Moneywise – owned by influencer Manish Mishra – used celebrities to recommend stocks of two companies to retail investors.
Similar videos were uploaded on the channels Midcap calls and Profit Yatra.
The videos shared false and misleading information about Sharpline Broadcast and Sadhna Broadcast, encouraging investors to buy their shares, the regulator said.
SEBI says that its investigation revealed that these channels had hundreds of thousands of subscribers and their videos – aided by paid marketing campaigns – were viewed by millions.
Entities involved in the price manipulation made profits by selling their own shares while the prices were high.
The market regulator said it has impounded illegal gains worth nearly 540 million rupees ($6.5m, £5.4m) made by people and entities involved in the scam.
According to SEBI, Warsi made a profit of 2.9 million rupees and his wife Maria Goretti earned a profit of 3.7 million rupees.
On Thursday, Warsi tweeted that he and Goretti had “zero” knowledge about the stock market and had lost “our hard earned money” after investing in shares on a third party’s advice.
According to the newspaper Mint, the videos are no longer publicly available on YouTube but are on SEBI’s records.
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