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E*Trade Considers Actions Against Roaring Kitty Amid Market Manipulation Concerns

Gamestop

Reportedly considering eliminating GameStop (GME) meme stock trader Keith Gill, often known as “Roaring Kitty” online trading platform E*Trade is worried about possible market manipulation.

E*Trade’s Concerns and Potential Actions

Gill acquired a lot of GME options on E*Trade before abruptly going back to X last month, which sent shares in GameStop flying. A few of them expired that week and most certainly made money for him. The Wall Street Journal on June 3 cited persons knowledgeable with the subject.

The sources claim that the company and its owner, Morgan Stanley, are concerned that Gill might use his influence to inflate GME for personal gain and are debating whether or not his recent comments on X and Reddit qualify as manipulation.

They also worry about removing him, as others would terminate their E*Trade account in support of Gill, and bad attention could result. The Journal noted that no decision has been taken, and the companies could choose to do nothing at all.

Impact of Gill’s Activity on GME

Gill, a trader identified as having a significant impact on the 2021 meme stock rise and GameStop short squeeze, started cryptically posting to X for the first time in three years, sending meme stocks and meme coins blazing.

Gill allegedly uploaded an image on Reddit on June 2, showing that he was holding $181.4 million worth of GME shares and call options, with the wager that the share price would reach at least $20.

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In the Sunday night trade following Gill’s article, GME soared over 19%. Google Finance shows that it finished up 21% at $28 on Monday, June 3, then gained about 8.5% in after-hours trading to $30.36.

GME is up around 68% this year and over 60% since Gill returned to X.

Gill then posted once more on Reddit on June 3 to indicate he reportedly has a $51.8 million gain on his options and a $33.6 million gain on his 5 million GME shares.

Regulatory Scrutiny and Market Reaction

Gill was a licensed broker with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance and appeared to have many securities licenses. The Massachusetts Securities Division is looking at Gill’s behavior, according to a spokesman for the Journal.

Those familiar with the regulator’s activities informed the Journal that around Gill’s X postings, the Securities and Exchange Commission is also looking into GameStop call option trading.

The article noted that the SEC has internally debated whether such options deals might be deemed manipulation, but it wasn’t clear if it was especially scrutinizing Gill.

An SEC official advised not commenting on the presence or nonexistence of a prospective inquiry.

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