The former employer of “RoaringKitty”, the online retailer that helped unleash a Reddit-driven short press on hedge funds targeting Gamestop stock, has agreed to pay a $ 4 million fine.
Keith Gill, who went by RoaringKitty on YouTube and DeepFuckingValue on Reddit, was a registered securities broker who worked as director of education for financial wellness at the insurance company Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) when he began to promote ailing video game retailer GameStop as a security fire rebound bet in mid-2019. Eventually, he became one of the key personalities in one coordinated race against hedge funds to had taken short positions on GameStop (like Citron Capital and Melvin Capital) which was organized on Reddit’s r / WallStreetBets table in January 2021.
Subreddit / rWallStreetBets sent Gamestop shares up in the air, caused huge loss for some vampire hedge funds which had shortened the business, shaken markets enough held by Congress (useless) hearings, and did Gill a large part of wealth. The short hug too kicked out a wave of speculation in other “meme stocks” like AMC, causing major problems for the stock trading app Robinhood, which alienated a large number of its users of stopping trades in some of the affected stocks.
That It reported the New York Times Thursday that MassMutual has reached an agreement to pay a $ 4 million fine to resolve Massachusetts securities regulators’ claims that the company did not do enough to oversee Gill and his colleagues ’shopping and chores online. In addition, state regulators claimed that Gill performed trades for three people without connection to MassMutual without obtaining a business license. The Times wrote that the settlement reached between MassMutual and the state does not contain any confessions of misconduct, but includes other additional measures, such as a compliance review and audits.
MassMutual had previously said that if it had been aware of Gill’s online activities, it would have asked him to stop them or even just fired him. He was technically employed at the company through January 28, when the GameStop failure was still running its course; as Gill was a licensed professional, he had obligations to notify his employer of external activities. MassMutual was similarly required to monitor for any unknown activity from its staff, and financial firms are generally not allowed to allow their analysts to go around promoting various stocks when they are not on the clock.
The inquiry was originally opened by the office of Massachusetts Commonwealth Secretary William F. Galvin. According to Wall Street Journal, Galvin says, state regulators concluded that MassMutual did not have “reasonable policies and procedures in place to detect and monitor” any moonlight workers.
The Times wrote that other parts of the settlement describe how Gill made 1,700 trades for three other people in a way that was against state rules. While MassMutual denied permission for Gill to manage one of these individuals’ accounts, it did not capture to the other two. Galvin’s office determined that the insurance company had third-party software that should have warned it about trading for more than $ 250,000 in a single security, it writes journal, but that feature was disabled. Other than that, the regulators were not happy that MassMutual at some point did not become aware of Gill’s productive online age since. According to Boston Globe, which included over 250 hours of YouTube videos with stock tips, 590 securities-related tweets and his Reddit account.
A spokeswoman for MassMutual told the Times that the company “is happy to put this case behind us and avoid the expense and distraction associated with lengthy lawsuits.”
“As for MassMutual, they was obviously completely to blame for not supervising him, “Galvin told the newspaper. “I mean, it was just a matter of negligence. It was complete and thorough. ”