- #CitadelScandal was a top trending hashtag on Twitter as retail traders expressed renewed outrage over Robinhood’s trading restrictions in January.
- A new lawsuit filed alleges Citadel Securities and Robinhood were in contact ahead of the trading halt.
- Citadel Securities has said it did not pressure Robinhood to restrict trading.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
#CitadelScandal was the number two trending hashtag on Twitter Thursday amid renewed outrage from retail traders over allegations regarding the January 28 meme-stock trading halt.
The hashtags #ApesNotLeaving and #VladTenevLied were also trending, continuing a Twitter fight between retail traders and Citadel Securities following a class-action lawsuit that was filed in federal court in Miami on September 22.
The lawsuit alleges that market maker Citadel Securities conspired with Robinhood to drive down the price of meme stocks such as GameStop and AMC on January 28 when buying was halted on the trading app.
“On January 27, 2021, the day before the restrictions were implemented, high level employees of Citadel Securities and Robinhood had numerous communications with each other that indicate that Citadel applied pressure on Robinhood,” the lawsuit states.
In response, retail traders on Twitter began tweeting about the Citadel Securities founder, promoting the hashtag #KenGriffinLied on Tuesday.
Citadel Securities fired back in a series of tweets, saying it “never requested, intimated, agreed or otherwise sought to limit or to restrict the trading” of meme stocks.
“It must frustrate the conspiracy theorists to no end that Vlad and I have never texted, called or met each other,” he said in an emailed statement to Insider.
Robinhood’s decision to halt buying of meme stocks such as GameStop prompted a congressional hearing and several lawsuits. During the hearing, lawmakers asked Griffin if anyone in his organization pressured Robinhood to restrict trading, to which he responded, “absolutely not.”
In a previous statement to Insider, Robinhood said Citadel Securities and other market makers didn’t pressure the trading app to restrict trading.
“These complaints attempt to create a false narrative of collusion,” the company said.
Robinhood’s business model relies on payment for order flow, wherein users’ trades are routed to market makers such as Citadel Securities, which then execute the transaction and collect on the difference between the bid and ask price. The practice has come under increased scrutiny since the meme-stock saga, and the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering tighter regulation.
Robinhood’s CEO hit back at critics of the app and of commission-free trading this week in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.