SEC Charges TradeZero America for Halting ‘Meme Stocks’

SEC Charges TradeZero America
Market manipulation: SEC charges firm for deceiving customers in ‘meme stock’ halt.

BREAKING: The SEC is charging TradeZero America and co-founder with deceiving customers about ‘meme stock’ trading halts.

“The Securities Exchange Commission today charged broker-dealer TradeZero America Inc., and its co-founder Daniel Pipitone, with falsely stating to the firm’s customers that they didn’t restrict the customers’ purchases of meme stocks when in fact they did.”

The SEC does not mention in the press release which three ‘meme stocks’ customers were not allowed to buy.

I’ll link the official source below.

Let’s discuss it.

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TradeZero America deceives customers about meme stock halting

TradeZero America Meme stocks

In late January of 2021, many broker firms halted the purchase of ‘meme stocks’.

You might have heard of the Citadel and Robinhood scandal, where the two colluded to remove the ‘buy button’.

While the scandal became headlines, the transcripts available weren’t enough to charge the institutions.

The SEC released a press release today stating that TradeZero America is being charged for deceiving its customers.

The firm told its customers they did not halt the purchase of meme stocks when in fact they did.

After the halt, TradeZero and Pipitone made misleading public statements via interviews, social media, and in a press release in an effort to distinguish their company from brokers that restricted trading during that period. 

In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything,” Pipitone said, “That some trading firms are blocking these symbols is disgusting, unprecedented… Our clearing firm tried to make us block you and we refused.”

Side note: THIS STATEMENT is disgusting.

TradeZero America received a $100,000 penalty, and co-founder Pipitone received a $25,000 penalty.

Although the SEC did not mention which ‘meme stocks’ were prohibited from being purchased, GameStop and AMC have been the two biggest ‘meme stocks’.

I assume the third was Bed Bath & Beyond.

Source: SEC Press Release

Where are ‘meme stocks’ headed in 2022?

Meme stocks

AMC and GameStop continue to be heavily shorted.

While both companies have survived the pandemic and have shown a dramatic fundamental improvement, short sellers have not left.

Both these stocks have an extremely high short interest and shares on loan.

More and more retail investors are piling in these two stocks for a short squeeze play that was merely suppressed last year.

Trading was halted in both AMC and GameStop in late March of 2022.

AMC rose to $34 per share while GME stock rose to $199 per share.

This form of market manipulation continues today.

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Related: Ken Griffin Speaks Out on Retail Investors and Meme Stocks

13 Comments

  1. ZZZman

    BTW dropping $1,000 more into AMC today. Can’t stop, won’t stop!

  2. Daryl T Olson

    I posted comment below on your good article on yahoo finance under BA (25 May 22 0947pm), but yahoo deleted it – twice. The banks/hedge funds own both parties along with SEC and most of media, which explains why the corruption has been going on for decades – and rarely addressed.

    BA wasn’t manipulated as much today as past 8 months. More documentation below of banks/hedge fund billion dollar fraud/collusion tied to manipulation as common practice(?). The huge fraud and tiny $100,000 TradeZero penalty and $25,000 fine for cofounder are major reasons that Sec Dir needs to be fired and/or indicted(?) for collusion with naked shorting scams by token fine/failing to really hold anyone accountable.

    Frank Nez May 24 Franknez.com:
    “The Securities Exchange Commission today charged broker-dealer TradeZero America Inc., and its co-founder Daniel Pipitone, with falsely stating to the firm’s customers that they didn’t restrict the customers’ purchases of meme stocks when in fact they did.”

    The SEC does not mention in the press release which three ‘meme stocks’ customers were not allowed to buy. In late January of 2021, many broker firms halted the purchase of ‘meme stocks’.
    You might have heard of the Citadel and Robinhood scandal, where the two colluded to remove the ‘buy button’.

    While the scandal became headlines, the transcripts available weren’t enough to charge the institutions.
    The SEC released a press release today stating that TradeZero America is being charged for deceiving its customers.
    The firm told its customers they did not halt the purchase of meme stocks when in fact they did.
    After the halt, TradeZero and Pipitone made misleading public statements via interviews, social media, and in a press release in an effort to distinguish their company from brokers that restricted trading during that period.

    In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything,” Pipitone said, “That some trading firms are blocking these symbols is disgusting, unprecedented… Our clearing firm tried to make us block you and we refused.”

    Side note: THIS STATEMENT is disgusting.
    TradeZero America received a $100,000 penalty, and co-founder Pipitone received a $25,000 penalty…..”

  3. Jeff

    This is a non story. Criminal acts will continue until people start going to prison for securities fraud. Fines are nothing but the cost of doing business for these crooks, and im pretty sure a tax write off as well.

  4. Rahshan Rocquemore

    This is a non story, until these criminals start going to prison for securities fraud they will continue theyre criminal acts.
    A fine to them is just the cost of doing business for them. Almost like a bribe. Its pathetic and the SEC is a joke

  5. ALVIN RODRIGUEZ

    what a joke !!!! steal millions get fine thousands wth

  6. Jeff

    Thanks for passing this on to us Frank, but it is no surprise. What is wrong though are two things:- 1. the minimal fines imposed are disgusting.
    2. There is enough evidence to prove that CITADEL and ROBINHOOD were equally culpable if not more, so why on earth were they not also charged by the SEC.

    • Frank Nez

      That’s what everyone’s saying! What about Citadel and Robinhood, SMH.

  7. Frank Nez

    Let’s start a discussion! Leave your thoughts below.

    • Ron

      100k fine isn’t even a slap on the wrist to these firms. SEC is an absolute joke beyond comprehension. Appreciate your articles and research. Keep it up!

      • Frank Nez

        I agree! 😤 – thank you

    • Jon

      The fines are ridiculous…..they will never stop manipulated the game with the current consequences.
      This is the SEC blowing smoke for their non actions on the whales not the small brokers on individual investors.

      • Frank Nez

        The consequences have to be more severe. These fines aren’t enough.

        • ZZZman

          I posted this story on AMC Chat before I noticed Frank beat me to it (the man never sleeps) These firms are stealing in broad daylight (which doesn’t happen in any other institution on this scale) and would be impossible without government collusion. The fees aren’t a joke they’re a slap in the face to all of us, firms that practice this type of fuckery should lose their licenses. Finally, the cavalier way in which it was noted that many firms are restricting meme stocks (AMC, GME & KOSS) should be enough to have Mr. Pipitone name, names. “All Hail Caesar”

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