As social media has been swarmed with information surrounding the GameStop controversy, a new claim attempting to link White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki to the stock trading platform Robinhood.
A Reddit user pushed the claim that Psaki had a brother who worked for Citadel LLC – the capital firm facing accusations of manipulating the market and forcing Robinhood to restrict trading activity for GameStop and other stocks that experienced an improbably rally thanks to Redditors who took on Wall Street's biggest players.
A Twitter user also shared an excerpt from an article on Citadel's plans to hire three new staffers as part of a revamp of its investment unit and cites Jeff Psaki as one of the employees.
What is Citadel's Role in the GameStop Controversy?
On Thursday, Robinhood announced that it was restricting trading for the stocks that were being "short-squeezed" and investors would only be able to close their positions. This meant that traders would only be able to sell the stocks and not be able to purchase additional shares, causing the stocks to nosedive.
The price of Gamestop's stock rose from $20 from earlier this month to more than $480 this week. This increase came as a result of Reddit users who decided to buy the stock en masse in order to artificially inflate its value and take on Wall Street's hedge funds that were shorting the stock.
The fact that Citadel is one of Robinhood's biggest customers and its recent billion-dollar investment in Melvin Capital – one of the hedge funds that held short positions on GameStop, AMC Entertainment and other scripts – led to speculation that Citadel influenced Robinhood's decision to restrict trading of the stocks on the platform.
Is There a Conflict of Interest?
Citadel has denied these rumors, saying it had nothing to do with Robinhood's suspension of trading on the stocks. "Citadel is not involved in, or responsible for, any retail brokers' decision to stop trading in any way," a spokesperson for the hedge fund said in a statement obtained by Fox News.
"Citadel Securities has not instructed or otherwise caused any brokerage firm to stop, suspend, or limit trading or otherwise refuse to do business," the statement added. "Citadel Securities remains focused on continuously providing liquidity to our clients across all market conditions."
And as far as Jen's relationship to Jeff is concerned, although it could be perceived as a conflict of interest, there is no evidence to support the claim that the two of them are actually related other than the fact that they share the same last name.