By Will Feuer
Trading was mixed amid a growing number of small-cap companies that alleged illegal trading of their stocks on Monday, joining others who have said this month they are investigating allegedly illegal short selling.
Shares of Verb Technology Co. surged more than 88% to 43 cents in morning trading after the company said its board is weighing measures to address alleged illegal short selling of its stock. Shares of SciSparc Ltd. rose more than 22% after the Israeli-based pharmaceutical company made a similar announcement.
Other companies, including Agriforce Growing Systems Ltd., BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. and Genius Brands International Inc., made similar disclosures on Monday morning. Shares of those companies traded between 1% and 3% higher.
Shares of Ryvyl Inc., which also said it will investigate alleged illegal short selling, fell almost 21% to 65 cents in morning trading.
Many of the companies on Monday cited Genius Group Ltd., which earlier this month said an independent investigation indicated that certain parties appear to have sold but not delivered a significant amount of the stock of the company.
Genius Group said the unfulfilled sales are illegal and appear to be part of a market-manipulation scheme seeking to artificially depress the price of the securities of the company, citing results from the investigation by Christian Levine Law Group and Warshaw Burstein LLP.
“Today we join the fight begun by companies like Genius Group, Helbiz and Creatd, among others for greater integrity in the capital markets,” Verb Chief Executive Rory Cutaia said, for example. “I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with other CEOs whose companies have been affected by these actions.”
Last week, Helbiz Inc., which rents electric scooters, bikes and mopeds, said it, too, is looking to address alleged illegal short selling of its stock.
Shares of Helbiz and Genius Group both rose 48% and 8%, respectively, in morning trading.
Write to Will Feuer at Will.Feuer@wsj.com