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SEC. v Abhi Batra a/k/a Abhimanyu Batra
Civil Action No. 2:21-cv-00434-GW (C.D. Ca.)

March 21, 2023

On January 15, 2021, the SEC filed a Complaint against Abhi Batra a/k/a Abhimanyu Batra (“Batra” or “Defendant”).The Commission alleged that Batra conducted a free-riding scheme between 2016 and 2020 in which he fraudulently reversed more that $1 million in Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers. Specifically, the SEC's complaint alleges that Batra transferred money from bank accounts to brokerage accounts via ACH, then used the funds to purchase speculative options contracts. The Complaint further alleges that when the options trades lost money, Batra would recall the ACH transfers to the brokerage firm by falsely representing to the bank that he had not authorized the initial transfers. As a result, Batra imposed his trading losses on the brokerage firms. By contrast, according to the Complaint, when his trading was profitable, Batra kept the profits for himself. See the Commission’s Complaint.

On June 14, 2021, the Court entered a Final Judgment against Defendant, which, among other relief ordered Defendant to pay disgorgement of $665,211; prejudgment interest of $6,577.16; and a civil penalty of $195,047, for a total of $866,835.16, within thirty days. Batra made one $50,000 payment on August 11, 2021 but did not satisfy the judgment in full. On July 25, 2022, Batra pled guilty and was sentenced in a parallel criminal case. In the criminal case, the Court ordered Batra to pay restitution of $665,221.The Court further ordered that the restitution be paid to the Commission and distributed to the victims in this action. Batra paid restitution to the Commission of $615,211 on July 20, 2022.The Commission was ordered to hold all funds, together with interest and income earned thereon (the “Fund”), pending further order of the Court. See Final Judgment.

The Commission holds $665,211 in the Fund (the “Distribution Fund”) in a Commission-designated account at the U.S. Department of Treasury.

On February 23, 2023, the Court granted the Commission’s motion and appointed Heffler, Radetich & Saitta, LLP as the Tax Administrator of the Distribution Fund to fulfill the tax obligations of the Distribution Fund, and authorized the Commission to approve and arrange payment of all tax obligations owed by the Distribution Fund and the related fees and expenses of the Tax Administrator directly from the Distribution Fund without further approval of the Court. See the Court’s Order.

On July 24, 2023, the Court granted the Commission’s motion and appointed Amy Sumner, a Commission employee, as the Distribution Agent of the Distribution fund and approved the Commission’s Distribution Plan.  See the Plan and the Court’s Order.

On February 1, 2024, the Court entered an order granting the Commission’s Motion for an Order to Disburse the Distribution Fund. See the Court’s Order

For more information, please contact the Commission:

Office of Distributions
Email: ENFOfficeofDistributions@sec.gov

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