January 14, 2020

SEBI Bans Ex-Diageo Official For Insider Trading

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred a former Diageo PLC official Nishat Shailesh Gupte from the capital market for seven years for indulging in insider trading shares of in United Spirits.

It has also directed three others, namely Poonam Haresh Jashnani, Haresh Parmanand Jashnani and Varun Haresh Jashnani, to disgorge or pay back unlawful gains amounting to more than Rs 1 crore made by them, along with its interest.

They have been asked to disgorge wrongful gains of about Rs 45.44 lakh, Rs 29.24 lakh and Rs 26.18 lakh respectively along with 12% interest per annum. They need to pay the amount within 45 days. In case they fail to pay the wrongful gains along with interest as directed, the SEBI will initiate recovery proceedings against them.

According to the SEBI, Gupte, who was the Global Business Development Manager (M&A) of Diageo, passed on unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI) relating to the open offer for acquisition of shares of United Spirits Ltd (USL) by Relay BV and Diageo PLC to Poonam Haresh Jashnani, Haresh Parmanand Jashnani and Varun Haresh Jashnani.

Later, Poonam, Haresh and Varun also indulged in insider trading activity in USL based on the information passed by Gupte.

Incidentally, Gupte happens to be the son-in-law of Poonam and Haresh, and brother-in-law of Varun Jashnani.

The SEBI ruled that by indulging in such activities, they violated SEBI’s Prohibition of Insider Trading (PIT) regulations.

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