Earlier this week, Facebook announced it would start trading its stock publicly later in 2012. However, some people who thought they were getting a head start on buying Facebook shares have now discovered that the "stock" is worthless. Earlier this week, an Oshkosh, Wisconsin woman was arrested and is now facing 31 felony counts for allegedly selling fake Facebook stocks to at least five people.
The local TV news web site Fox11Online.com reports that Marianne Oleson, 46, sold the fake Facebook stock in part to pay for work done to her home by Randy Stafford. Stafford said that when she could pay for his work, she offered him what she said was $28,000 of Facebook shares. Stafford actually paid $10,000 for the stock, and accepted the other $18,000 as the payment for his work.
Reuters reports that Oleson told her victims she had received a total of $1 million in Facebook stock because her daughter was somehow acquainted with Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg.
In addition to the Facebook stock fraud charges, police also found marijuana plants at Oleson's home which led them to add drug charges on top of everything else.
The moral of this story? If someone offers you stock in a company that hasn't filed for its IPO to pay off home improvement work, don't take it.