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Keith Gill, Mass. investor known as ‘Roaring Kitty,’ testifies before state regulators

But because the session was closed to the public, it’s not known what may come of it.

A screenshot of Keith Gill from one of his YouTube videos.
A screenshot of Keith Gill from one of his YouTube videos.Roaring Kitty YouTube page

Keith Gill, the Wilmington man whose big gains on GameStop stock made him a celebrated figure in online investing circles, testified Wednesday before state securities regulators who are examining his social media activities.

Responding to a subpoena from the Massachusetts Securities Division, he appeared via teleconference to speak with regulators who are looking into whether any regulations were violated when Gill, who worked until recently at MassMutual, touted GameStop stock in his spare time.

The meeting was not open to the public.

The office of Secretary of State William Galvin, whose agency includes the securities division, confirmed that Gill had appeared. But Galvin’s office would not discuss details unless it decides to file a complaint in the matter.

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Gill, through an attorney, declined to comment. A representative for MassMutual, the Springfield financial services company, could not immediately be reached.

Known on YouTube as Roaring Kitty and on Reddit’s rowdy Wallstreetbets forum as Deep[Expletive]Value, Gill maintained for more than a year that GameStop, a national video game retailer struggling with the shift to digital downloads, was undervalued.

Gill was also called to testify last month before a Congressional committee about issues regarding retail investing. He told federal lawmakers that he was not involved in a coordinated effort to buy GameStop stock, and that he continued to believe it was a good investment. He also said he did not sell stocks as part of his job at MassMutual.

Gill is licensed to sell most kinds of investments and offer financial advice. He is required as a registered broker-dealer agent to tell his employer about outside business activities. At issue in the state probe is whether his posts on GameStop were work, or a hobby.

Gill worked for MassMutual as a director of financial wellness education until late January, when he resigned.

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Galvin has said that MassMutual told his office that it would have ordered Gill to cease his online commentary on GameStop had the company known about it.

An initial investment of $53,000 paid off handsomely for Gill as the company’s stock took off, peaking early this year — fueled in part by a surge in interest from individual stock pickers.

Some traditional Wall Street investors, meanwhile, lost big on bets that GameStock stock would decline in value.

Gill, in a post on Reddit, at one point said the value of his holdings had grown as high as $48 million.

After hovering in the $4 and $5 range for much of last year, GameStop shares closed Wednesday at $124.18, down from a high nearly four times that much just over a month ago.

After he stopped posting on the Reddit forum for much of February, Gill posted an image at the end of the month that showed holdings related to his GameStop investment were worth about $26.5 million. That included about $11.9 million in cash, and the remainder in GameStop stock and options to buy more.

When he returned to the Wallstreetbets forum, fellow members noted with delight that Gill’s post suggested he had doubled the amount of stock he was holding.


Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.