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Ybrant Digital (formerly known as LGS Global) clarified to the BSE that its previous or current management had neither any knowledge of fraudulent trading nor any participation in it, for which the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has slapped penalties on 15 individuals and a stock broker. The Hyderabad-based digital marketing solutions company also added that the fraudulent activities had occurred before the Ybrant/LGS merger.

Earlier this week, SEBI imposed a total penalty of Rs 77 lakh on these 16 entities (including the brokerage firm Arcadia Share & Stock Brokers). This was first reported by Business Standard. A penalty of Rs 5 lakh was imposed on each of the 15 individuals and Arcadia was directed to pay a fine of Rs 2 lakh.

SEBI had detected an unusually high rise in trade volumes and price of LGS Global’s (as it was known then) share between February 10, 2009 and May 7, 2010. During this period share price had increased from Rs 20.15 to Rs 133.60. An investigation followed, during which 15 individuals were identified who had indulged in synchronized trading that led to creation of artificial volumes and price rise. SEBI also identified certain self-trades, in which these individuals used multiple brokers (one of which was Arcadia) to trade the share within themselves, which led to inflation of trade volume.

Ybrant renaming: Earlier this month, Ybrant Digital informed BSE that it intends to consolidate all its media properties and rename the company to Lycos Internet Limited, subject to approval from the Registrar of Companies and the company shareholders. Note that Ybrant’s network business will continue to operate under the Ybrant Digital name. Ybrant had acquired Lycos for $36 million in an all-cash deal in August 2010 from Daum Communications.