Chuck Mora has lost his job as vice-president of marketing with CityScapes Internet Marketing Inc. for posting overly enthusiastic messages about CityScape's publicly traded parent on the Internet.
Star Group Newspaper Networks Inc. (STRG/CDN), which is buying 51% of CityScapes's stock, said yesterday Mora was fired after the Canadian Dealing Network halted trading in Star Group last Friday.
The halt followed an Internet posting that "contained quasi-insider information and also offended securities laws by attempting to promote the company unlawfully", Star Group said.
A message posted last Wednesday by Mora said big deals were pending at Star Group. The stock price, 20¢ at the time, will "increase to the 40¢ or 50¢ level within the next two weeks fuelled by an aggressive program of announcements and press releases. The opportunity is now!"
This month, Canadian Dealing Network asked Star Group to explain sudden surges in volume prompted by Mora's Internet messages.
From a 52-week low of 13¢ on Feb. 6, the price ran to 23¢ on Feb. 12. Trading reopened yesterday, but no stock changed hands. It closed at 16¢ on Friday.
CityScapes is trying to set up a franchised network of community information sites.