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If you or a plaintiffs lawyer or the Securities and Exchange Commission were to ask Ryan Cohen (and The Wall Street Journal is reliably informed that the latter has not yet asked him), the GameStop chairman and meme-stock hero would undoubtedly tell you that that at some point on Aug. 16—crucially, some point on that day after his routine 13D filing showing he’d done no trading in Bed Bath & Beyond shares for two months—he had a change of heart and mind about the Cuisineart and curtain-rod emporium. As, of course, he’d have to: For at some point after that filing but before the market close, he did rather a lot of trading, and by the end of the following day he’d done all of it as pertains to his once nearly 12% stake in BBBY. Because if he had already decided to get out of the failing retailer before that amended—and, as Whitney Tilson points out, totally unnecessary—13D, he would have been required to say so in said amended 13D, which he did not, and which, along, along with word that he’d bought up a whole bunch of out-of-the-money calls on BBBY the day before, had sent Bed Bath shares rocketing to the moon in spite of, well, everything else about the company. And that would look like a pretty cut-and-dried pump-and-dump scheme, which is exactly what Tilson thinks it is.

Cohen's trading patterns stink to high heaven…. Having successfully pumped the stock up 100% to 200% in a couple of days, Cohen is dumping/has dumped it on the unsuspecting retail investors who foolishly got caught up in the hype he generated.

What a total disgrace!

This morning I did something I've never done before: I reported Cohen's actions to the SEC using its website to "Report Suspected Securities Fraud or Wrongdoing" and checked the boxes for "manipulation of a security" and "pump and dump scheme." I hope the SEC investigates...

Well, Tilson oughtn’t hold his breath.

Many large investors don’t formulate written plans to buy or sell, to avoid triggering the requirement to update the ownership disclosure, said Adam Pritchard, a securities and corporate law professor at the University of Michigan. “If you are properly lawyered, you don’t have a plan until you decide you are going to sell,” Mr. Pritchard said…. “If his intent was to truly do nothing” on the morning of Aug. 16, “then that is a hard enforcement case,” [Columbia Law School Professor Joshua] Mitts said. “If I were the SEC, I would want really clear evidence that the trading decision had been made.”

Ryan Cohen’s Bed Bath & Beyond Stock Sales Highlight Gray Area in Disclosure [WSJ]

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