GameStop booster on Reddit is under regulatory scrutiny

Keith Gill, a Massachusetts investor who found fame and riches by promoting GameStop Inc. stock, has drawn the attention of the state’s top financial regulator, the New York Times reported Thursday.

William Galvin, the Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth, took interest after it was revealed that Gill is a registered securities broker who was working as a financial-wellness education director at an insurance company through Jan. 28, according to the report.

Galvin, the state’s top financial regulator, sent a letter to MassMutual, Gill’s former employer, asking for details of how the company monitors employees’ undisclosed business activities and social-media use, the report said.

See also: The SEC could cripple Robinhood’s business model by enforcing existing rules, experts say

Gill, who goes by the user name “Roaring Kitty” on YouTube and posts under the moniker “DeepF—ingValue” on the popular Reddit forum WallStreetBets, has reportedly made tens of millions of dollars trading GameStop shares
and options.

The news comes a day after Rep. Maxine Waters of California, the Democratic chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, told Cheddar TV that Gill would testify on Capitol Hill later this month.

As a registered securities broker, Gill is at greater risk of exposure to civil penalties than a typical retail trader because the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the securities industry’s self-regulatory body, requires brokers to refrain from making “false [or] misleading claims, exaggerated statements and material omissions” on social media, according to the Times.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is set to host a meeting Thursday with top federal regulators to address recent market volatility surrounding stocks that have been heavily promoted on social media, including GameStop
and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.

Bloomberg news reported Wednesday that the Securities and Exchange Commission is actively investigating social-media posts along with trading data to see whether the posts were part of a concerted effort to manipulate the price of these so-called meme stocks.

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