NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Hispanic online community Quepasa.com Monday fired and sued its co-founder Jeffrey Peterson and another employee for allegedly using company resources to establish a competing business venture.
According to the suit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Ariz., Peterson -- who also served as the company's chief technology officer -- violated the terms of his contract by using company time and resources to establish a new business venture that would compete with Quepasa (PASA).
The company also accused Peterson of "directly or indirectly soliciting" Quepasa employees to participate in the new business.
Quepasa also filed suit against Peterson's wife, Sugey Sanchez-Alvarez, and David Hansen, a Quepasa employee.
The firm is suing for undetermined compensatory and punitive damages.
"This is an unfortunate circumstance," said Gary L. Trujillo, Quepasa's chairman and chief executive officer. "We are doing everything possible to get it behind us and move forward and are pleased to announce that Bryan Ross, our former chief technology officer and a person in whom we have great confidence, has been reappointed to this position."
Quepasa terminated Peterson's and Hansen's contracts on July 31.
Quepasa provides the U.S. Hispanic market with news, e-mail and other Internet services in English and Spanish.
Quepasa shares fell 1-7/8 to close at 15 in Monday trade.