Keith Gill, one of the most influential voices that pushed GameStop on the WallStreetBets Reddit forum, was hit with a lawsuit that accused him of misrepresenting himself as an amateur investor and profiting by artificially inflating the price of the stock.
The proposed class action against Gill, who adopted the online nickname “Roaring Kitty,” was filed Tuesday in federal court in Massachusetts. The suit said Gill was actually a licensed securities professional who manipulated the market to profit himself. Gill touted GameStop shares through an extensive social media presence on Youtube, Twitter and Reddit.
“Gill’s deceitful and manipulative conduct not only violated numerous industry regulations and rules, but also various securities laws by undermining the integrity of the market for GameStop shares,” the suit said. “He caused enormous losses not only to those who bought option contracts, but also to those who fell for Gill’s act and bought GameStop stock during the market frenzy at greatly inflated prices.”
Gill did not respond to a message seeking comment sent to an email address associated with him.
Gill became one of the public faces of the GameStop rally that has been a Wall Street obsession this year. The stock’s stratospheric rise appeared to pit scrappy individual investors against sophisticated hedge funds who were heavily shorting the troubled mall retailer. Some funds lost billions of dollars covering their positions as GameStop shares surged more than 1,700% during one stretch in January.