Former Employer of Memestock King ‘RoaringKitty’ Gets Hit With $4 Million Fine

Home Technology Former Employer of Memestock King ‘RoaringKitty’ Gets Hit With $4 Million Fine
Former Employer of Memestock King ‘RoaringKitty’ Gets Hit With $4 Million Fine
A GameStop store in Alhambra, California in January 2021.
A GameStop store in Alhambra, California in January 2021.
Photo: Frederic J. Brown / AFP (Getty Images)

The former employer of “RoaringKitty,” the online trader who helped spark off a Reddit-fueled short squeeze on hedge funds betting against Gamestop stock, has agreed to shell out a $4 million fine.

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Keith Gill, who went by RoaringKitty on YouTube and DeepFuckingValue on Reddit, was a registered securities broker who worked as a financial wellness education director at insurer Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) when he began promoting ailing video game retailer GameStop as a surefire rebound bet in mid-2019. Eventually, he became one of the central personalities in a coordinated run against hedge funds that had taken short positions on GameStop (like Citron Capital and Melvin Capital) that was organized on Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets board in January 2021.

The subreddit /rWallStreetBets sent Gamestop stock skyrocketing, caused huge losses for some vampiric hedge funds that had been shorting the company, shook markets enough that Congress held (useless) hearings, and made Gill a hefty chunk of wealth. The short squeeze also kicked off a wave of speculation in other “meme stocks” like AMC, causing major problems for stock-trading app Robinhood, which alienated a large number of its users by halting trades in some of the affected stocks.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that MassMutual has reached an agreement to pay a $4 million fine to resolve Massachusetts securities regulators’ claims that the company didn’t do enough to supervise Gill and his colleagues’ trades and doings online. Additionally, the state regulators claimed Gill carried out trades for three people with no connection to MassMutual without obtaining company permission. The Times wrote that the settlement reached between MassMutual and the state contains no admissions of wrongdoing but does include other additional measures, such as a compliance review and audits.