Stephen Sinclair is a Canadian freelance writer who has been publishing professionally for several years.
CEOs Hyping Stocks Under Aliases Nothing New
The job of the chief executive officer of any company with publicly traded shares is to convince investors to buy them. In June 2017, when Tesla, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk tweeted that short sellers in his company's stock "want us to die so bad they can taste it" and, "Just wish they would stop sticking pins in voodoo dolls of me. That hurts, ok?" no one batted an eye. Musk, using his own name, has every right to comment publicly on TSLA stock.
However, what if Musk were to bash short sellers or make positive comments about TSLA shares using an alias? If not illegal, it would seem that most investors would find such behavior to be at least unethical.
A number of Canadian TSX Venture Exchange traders suspect that Paul Francis Antoniazzi, CEO of both Opawica Explorations Inc. (TSXV: OPW) and RT Minerals Corp. (TSXV: RTM), former CEO of Affinity Gold Corporation (USOTC: AFYG), husband of suicide victim Nadine Antoniazzi, as featured with HubPages, and brother of Kirkland Lake Mayor Tony Antoniazzi, or one his ratholes, a term used to describe someone who buys and sells stocks, among other duties, on behalf of an insider, as featured with Soapboxie, is hyping OPW and RTM stock on Twitter.
Potentially relevant is the CEO's middle name, Francis, and the handle, Frank.
Back in 2007, it was revealed that Whole Foods Markets Inc., which is now owned by Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), founder and current CEO John Mackey had been hyping Whole Foods stock and bashing rival Wild Oats Markets Inc. stock for up to seven years on Yahoo! Finance message boards, as reported by The New York Times.
Sample @stocksrFrank Tweets
Near Total Losses For RTM, OPW Investors
Mackey's Yahoo Finance alias was Rahodeb, his wife's name, Deborah, spelled backwards. Could Antoniazzi be taking a cue from Mackey?
Mackey's internet dealings were said to have played a role in the efforts of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to block a merger between Whole Foods and Wild Oats.
Despite Mackey's message board posts, few can argue with the success of Whole Foods. The firm's revenue grew from $6.6 billion, in 2007, to $15.7 billion, in 2016, and was bought out by Amazon in 2017.
In contrast, Opawica, RT Minerals, and Affinity Gold do not appear to have ever booked any revenue, at all. Further, investors in each have endured near total losses.
According to Yahoo! Finance: OPW shares are down 99.47 percent, since 2010; RTM shares are down 98.56 percent, since 2010, and AFYG shares are down 99.66 percent, since 2010. Despite this, Opawica and RT Minerals continue to issue more stock, at lower and lower prices.
One TSX Venture trader, who reports to have suffered heavy losses, claims that they "know so many people who have been swindled by Paul" and that the CEO shares seeming inside information over the telephone.
Antoniazzi is reported to have confided, in March 2017, that "a JV announcement would be coming in the next 2 weeks with a diamond company," with regard to RT Minerals. No JV announcement ever came. The trader states that the CEO "flat out lied." In addition to their CEO, RT Minerals and Opawica appear to share offices in Vancouver, as well as their chief financial officer, Sandra Wong.
When the trader contacted the office looking for an explanation, they claim they were accused of lying. Further, the trader claims that the executives threatened them with legal action for "spreading rumors."
Sample @stocksrFrank Tweets
Connections To Suspicious Death, Ontario Provincial Police Members?
The same trader claims that the individual behind the mysterious @stocksrFrank account has stated that he partnered in business with Paul Antoniazzi for 30 years.
Another trader suspects that @stocksrFrank and @Cdnxtracker are "the same guy, 110 percent" and that both accounts are, in fact, operated by Paul Antoniazzi.
A scan of tweets by the two Twitter accounts would seem to give credence to the traders' suspicions. Both refer to OPW and RTM an almost uncountable number of times.
"Looking forward to sharing investment ideas. I like penny stocks with high risk high reward," @stocksrFrank's first tweet, from June 4, 2016, reads.
The very next activity is a retweet of a @Cdnxtracker tweet, which reads, "Looking for more news from $RTM.v this week."
Just since then, RTM stock is down 76.32 percent. Through 2016 and 2017, the RTM tweets continued.
"RTM.v is my top pick headed into the month of August," @stocksrFrank tweeted, on August 9, 2017.
RTM stock is down 43.75 percent, since. Yet, the tweets continued.
"Took some more RTM.v today. This is ridiculously cheap and has no business trading at this level. With results and drilling pending and a possible JV deal on Ballard Lake still. Too much going on. Risk reward is nothing but upside potential," @stocksrFrank tweeted, on October 20, 2017.
"Why sell RTM.v here with assays pending and further drilling," another tweet, also from October 20, 2017, reads.
Much has been written about the potential connection of seeming fraud on the part of Paul Antoniazzi and the suspicious death of his late wife, Nadine, not to mention seeming connections to members of the Ontario Provincial Police, as featured with Soapboxie and HubPages.
© 2018 Stephen Sinclair