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TheStreet Open House

The Deal: Microcap Stocks Get Undeserved Promotions

Stocks in this article: YHOO TST SIRI XOM GOFFE

Goode, a frequent investor and short seller in microcap stocks, said part of the problem with Seeking Alpha is there are so many contributors doing so many stories. "They let a lot of stuff go, and there is only so much they can do," he said. "They are a lot better than they used to be."

Wolinsky said that since the Sunpeaks article, he has been approached numerous other times to write stories about microcap stocks and offered money for his services. "I really regret that I did the first story so I won't do it again, but there seem to be a lot of people out there who are willing to pay good money for sponsored stories," Wolinsky said.

He said that the people he corresponded with didn't use their real names and that, in at least one case, one used an e-mail service out of Canada that offers anonymity to its users.

"Ten or 15 years ago, bulk mailers were the way that stock promotions were done. About seven years ago it became mass e-mails," said Crocker Coulson, president of CCG Investor Relations. "Now the venue of choice is publications or sites like Seeking Alpha. The thing about it is that the people doing it are misrepresenting themselves and the investors looking at these stories may not be sophisticated enough to understand what is going on."

Written by Bill Meagher

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