Bhopal-based Loftier Investment Advisor and Research Asked To Refund Rs2.07 Crore to Investors
Moneylife Digital Team 07 December 2022
In one more case of illegal investment advisory, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) asked Bhopal-based Loftier Investment Advisor and Research Pvt Ltd to refund, within three months, Rs2.07 crore it collected from investors under the pretext of providing good and assured returns from the markets. The company and its three directors are also barred from markets for six months. 
In an ex-parte order, SK Mohanty, whole-time member (WTM) of SEBI says, "Loftier Investment Advisor and Research, Amit Tripathi, Bhuvaneshwar Tiwari and Pramil Nigam (the noticees) have not filed any reply nor have attended the personal hearing granted to them for refuting any of such allegations. Based on the material available on record and in the absence of any defence from the noticees, I observe that the show cause notice (SCN) is successful in bringing home the charge that the noticees were involved in rendering investment advice in lieu of monetary consideration without  obtaining  any  registration  from  SEBI."  
Following a complaint by an investor against Loftier Investment Advisor and Research, SEBI conducted an investigation. The complainant alleged that, through phone calls, the company had invited her to invest in the stock market. It was further alleged that an assurance was given that if she invested through the company, she could earn a profit of Rs10,000-Rs15,000 per month on an investment of Rs50,000. Acting on the company's advice, the complainant paid Rs5,500 and got her account opened with the company and further, an amount of Rs45,000 was also paid by way of a demand draft. 
The complainant was again approached on behalf of the company asking for another sum of Rs1 lakh by stating that the earlier investment had suffered losses in the stock market and to recover those losses, another contribution of Rs1 lakh was required. 
In the order, SEBI observed that the content of the website of Loftier Investment Advisor and Research shows that investment advisory services were being offered by the company and the bank account statements reflect that large sums of money had been received by Amit Tripathi, Bhuvaneshwar Tiwari and Pramil Nigam for which no explanations, whatsoever, had been furnished to substantiate if the purpose of such fund transactions in their bank accounts was anything else other than the investment advisory services carried on by them.
The investigation by the market regulator revealed that Loftier Investment Advisor and Research had a credit of Rs2,24,489 credit in its Yes Bank account and Rs16,88,663 in its account in ICICI Bank. Mr Tiwari received Rs1,18,54,337 in his account in Kotak Mahindra Bank and Rs3,31,959 in his Yes Bank account. Amit Tripathi received Rs66,68,038 in his HDFC Bank account.
SEBI asked the illegal investment advisory and its directors to refund investors the Rs2.07 crore credited in their bank accounts. 
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