Online trading

Salem man accused of posting threats on Twitter to kill Robinhood e-commerce employees as payback for his losses

A Salem man is accused of uttering threats to harm and kill employees of an online stock trading platform in retaliation for the financial losses he suffered.

According to an unsealed federal affidavit on Thursday, 38-year-old Christopher David Michalski allegedly used the “Goldshroomsand1” Twitter account to post repeated threatening messages directed at Robinhood Markets Inc. from May 2021 to March of this year.

In one, he threatened to skin the Robinhood CEO’s children in front of him, according to the affidavit.

Michalski faces a single interstate threat communication allegation.

He made his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Portland via video from the U.S. Marshals Service dungeon in the courthouse, appearing before Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman. The judge released him to house arrest with GPS monitoring and ordered him not to use any social media websites or apps, pending his next court date on June 3.

In a March 1 message, according to the affidavit, he asked how many “dead financial terrorists I need to collect to redeem the thousands of dollars you stole from me” and wrote his own response: “All of them. All must die,” above a photo of a rifle and scope.

In another message that day, he is accused of writing: “1099 = the number of corpses I will leave behind if you don’t give me back the money you stole.”

He made similar threats in Twitter posts on March 25 and in April, according to the affidavit. This one from April tagged the CEO of Robinhood with police body camera footage of a mass shooting in San Jose, Calif., and the message, “Police can’t save you.”

The director of threat assessment at Robinhood, a California-based firm, alerted the FBI in mid-April to the tweets.

Millions of young people have invested in recent years using Robinhood, a trading app founded in 2013 that advertised no trading fees or account minimums. The company reported billions in losses last year and is now the subject of lawsuits and investigations following its brutal and restricted trading of certain meme stocks a day after Gamestop hit its peak. Meme shares are shares of a company that have gained cult popularity online and through social media.

Investigators followed Michalski’s Twitter profile and found that the same Twitter user posted multiple images of firearms being fired at shooting ranges in late December 2021 and February this year, along with threats against Robinhood employees. for “the money you stole from me,” according to the affidavit.

Some of the photos from the range included markings with the name Tritac Range, which investigators traced to the Tritac Range in Salem.

The range confirmed that Michalski was a customer and used the range on the dates the photos were posted on social media, according to the affidavit.

Michalski, according to state records, was the 2019 registered owner of Northwest Mycological, an “edible and gourmet mushroom” retailer who listed the business address as his home address in Salem. The company did not renew its commercial registration in December 2021, according to state records.

Michalski’s business is not the same as Northwest Mycological Consultants, a mushroom grower in Corvallis.

–Maxine Bernstein

Email mern[email protected]; 503-221-8212

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