Upside Chronicles sent an SEC FOIA request about GameStop trading activity. The financial media seems to have a vendetta against the company, so we decided it warranted a closer look.
Here’s the timeline of what happened after we submitted an SEC FOIA request.
Wednesday, April 27th, 2021: FOIA request initiated
Upside Chronicles submitted request regarding correspondence between the Securities and Exchange Commission, Citadel, and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) regarding the trading of GameStop Corp. securities during the year of 2021. The initial request was submitted on April 27th, 2021, and read as follows:
Friday, April 30th, 2021: SEC’s FOIA re: GameStop request response – follow up
The Office of FOIA Services for the Securities Exchange Commission responds requesting a physical address for Upside Chronicles. they also inform UC that there may be a processing fee to process the request. UC agrees to the fees and provides a request.
This follow up was sent as a reply to the initial request submitted by Upside Chronicles, as well as a separate email chain.
Tuesday, May 5th, 2021
Upside responded to the with the requested information as well as agreed to pay the fee for request processing. Request moves forward.
Wednesday, May 6th, 2021
The Office of FOIA Services for the Securities Exchange Commission send Upside a letter of acknowledgment of the request. The request is coded as FOIA-PA – 21-01690-FOIA.
Tuesday, May 11th, 2021: SEC’s FOIA Office requests more information
Upside receives a follow-up email from the Office of FOIA Services for the Securities Exchange Commission.
To surmise, the FOIA representatives and the SEC wanted to to narrow the scope of the question. They also wanted to confirm what the DTCC is.
Please note: This request was sent as a reply to Upside‘s original email thread, as well as a separate email thread.
Friday, May 21, 2021: Upside Chronicles responds
Upside Chronicles responded to both threads with clarifying information, indulging what the DTCC is (Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation) as well as the scope of the request.
Monday, May 24th, 2021
Upside Chronicles follows up to ensure the FOIA Office of the SEC has all the information they need to proceed with the request.
Tuesday, May 25th, 2021
FOIA Office for the SEC confirms they have all the information the need to process the request.
Monday June 10th, 2021: SEC FOIA GameStop response received by Upside Chronicles (8:23 am, PST)
FOIA Office of the SEC provides the following response:
Upside Chronicles found this particular passage to be of importance:
We are withholding records that may be responsive to your request under 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(A). This exemption protects from disclosure records compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement activities. Since Exemption 7(A) protects the records from disclosure, we have not determined if other exemptions apply. Therefore, we reserve the right to assert other exemptions when Exemption 7(A) no longer applies.
According to the Department of Justice’s website, the is not required to provide information requested via the Freedom of Information Act:
Whenever a request is made which involves access to records described in subsection (b)(7)(A) and—
(A) the investigation or proceeding involves a possible violation of criminal law;
In other words, because the requested information was part of an active investigation, it was legally exempted from Freedom of Information Act requests.
Despite the GameStop saga making headlines and dragging on for several months, including prompting numerous Congressional hearings as well as a mass user exodus from Robinhood after the trading platform disabled buying – but not selling – of GameStop Corps stock, the SEC did not officially open an investigation until mid June.
The mainstream media began reporting on the SEC investigation into GameStop stock trading action around the same time the FOIA office of the SEC denied Upside Chronicle‘s request.
While the SEC’s investigation into GameStop stock trading was announced a week ago, considering the GameStop saga has been dragging on for months, the timing of the official investigation’s launch is…interesting, to say the least.
But better late than never?
Rest assured, Upside Chronicles will be keeping up on the SEC’s investigation of GameStop securities trading as price action has suggested that the GameStop saga is anything but over.