Bed Bath & Beyond’s CFO Gustavo Arnal died shortly after facing lawsuit claims of insider trading with GameStop’s Ryan Cohen.
His death occurred days after the company had announced it would be closing 150 stores and cutting 20% of its corporate staff.
The incident occurred less than two weeks after the executive, 52, was named in a federal class-action lawsuit on allegations of federal securities fraud, insider trading, and breach of fiduciary duty, according to court documents, per Business Insider.
The Chief Financial Officer was found dead on Friday after falling from the 18th floor of a New York City apartment building.
Arnal was cited in the suit along with activist investor and GameStop chairman Ryan Cohen, who the lawsuit claims collaborated with the CFO in a “fraudulent scheme to artificially inflate the price of Bed Bath & Beyond’s publicly traded stock.”
On August 18, both Arnal and Ryan Cohen sold shares of the company, with Arnal selling more than 42,000 shares for an estimated $1 million, and Cohen selling the entirety of his 9.8% stake through his firm, RC Ventures, causing share prices to plunge.
The lawsuit claims Cohen — who is also the co-founder of Chewy and chairman of GameStop — approached the CFO about his “pump and dump” scheme in March 2022, and “convinced Gustavo that their plan would be a mutually beneficial one.”
BBBY CFO & GameStop Chairman allegedly collude in pump and dump scheme
“Under this arrangement, defendants would profit handsomely from the rise in price and could coordinate their selling of shares to optimize their returns,” the lawsuit states.
Arnal allegedly worked with JPMorgan, which is listed as a defendant in the suit on claims the bank “aided and abetted” the plan by “enabling Cohen to use JPM’s accounts to effectuate such transactions and otherwise launder the proceeds of their criminal conduct.”
Ryan Cohen made a profit of $68.1 million from his stake in Bed Bath & Beyond.
Bed Bath & Beyond was one of the so called ‘meme stocks’ that was halted last year alongside AMC Entertainment stock and GameStop after retail investors had aimed to squeeze short sellers from their positions.
Investors and shareholders are still figuring out how to process this tragic death.
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