GameStop Board Chairman linked in Bed Bath & Beyond Stock Market Fraud

It’s been a while since we had a chat about GameStop. Not that there’s been much to say. Besides the upcoming movie about their meme stock rise and their push to pay employees with said meme stock, GameStop has been quiet. Yet, GameStop’s CEO Ryan Cohen seems to have been busy behind the scenes. You may have heard the recent news of Bed Bath & Beyond’s CFO Gustavo Arnal falling to his death. This comes less than two weeks after being named in a federal class-action lawsuit on suspicions of securities fraud and insider trading. Arnal’s tragic death is still under investigation. However, Cohen’s involvement still raises many red flags.

[Editor’s Note: Arnal’s death has been ruled as a suicide by local officials.]

If you were to look up Cohen’s activity up to this point, you’d find a lot of people calling him an “activist investor” as well the founder for Chewy (the pet store, not the granola bar). But what’s interesting is his involvement with the meme stock rise of 2021. His appointment as the chairman of a new committee meant to cause a company-wide transformation was meant to bring the company more in line with more modern tactics to gain revenue. This seemed to be one of the reasons for the rise of their stock. After he was in, GameStop’s stock rose over 1500% in two weeks. Shortly after, he became the chairman of GameStop.

Things get more interesting when It’s revealed in March 2022 that Cohen had a 10% stake in Bed bath & Beyond through his company RC Investment LLC. In August of this year all those shares got sold, netting Cohen $68 million and dropping the BB&B stock by about 40%. Days after, BB&B announces the closure of 150 stores and cutting their corporate operations by 20%. Come August 23rd, the lawsuit was filed.

In the filing, it outlines how Arnal and Cohen both sold their shares around the same time and caused the stock to fall. More details alleged that this was Cohen’s scheme all along, claiming that he approached Arnal about this “mutually beneficial” plan involving filing false financial reports with the intent of making the stock rise before selling it off.

“The defendants, knowing that the information they disclosed was false, preyed on the inflated stock price and used fraudulent and misleading SEC filings to sell all their [Bed Bath & Beyond] shares and options at artificially inflated prices to unsuspecting and innocent public investors and then retained control of the profits,” the suit states.

As of now, BB&B’s stocks are unstable, Cohen has yet to respond to the allegations, and there’s been no word on any court dates or the like. I would be disappointed or surprised, if this wasn’t such a capitalistic thing to do. Since the rise of crypto, it has been common to hear about pump and dump schemes. But, doing something like this with publicly traded companies is a level of boldness that I can at least say I didn’t expect. No word yet on his status as the GameStop chairman either. Though, given that it’s GameStop, nothing’s going to happen. They’re far too busy trying to figure out NFTs.

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