Woman charged with selling fake Facebook stock

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.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Xbox 360 best selling game console worldwide in 2011

Next Story

Up to 5 GB of free Dropbox space for testing photo imports

18 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Why do people think that only publicly traded stocks can be bought/sold?

It could be possible that an employer of Facebook who happened to have privately held Facebook's stocks was selling his or her shares.

The only way her daughter would have been 'related' to Mark Zukerburg was through, being a Facebook user.

Give the bloke a break! He's a contractor not an investor, not a techie. He probably knows what facebook is and that it is worth a lot although he's probably not thinking in the millions etc. He probably read that it filed for IPO and the offer probably seemed reasonable.

Yup, scream and call him an IDIOT!! I bet you never made a mistake in your lives, never got ripped off or scammed, ever.

Actually, he will now make more than he would have if she had just paid him cash. As a contractor, he can legally place a lien against the property. He can also rack her up on fees due to lack of proper payment.

Rohdekill said,
Actually, he will now make more than he would have if she had just paid him cash. As a contractor, he can legally place a lien against the property. He can also rack her up on fees due to lack of proper payment.

Which, unfortunately, doesn't mean he'll ever see a dime.

Have they even gone public yet? anyone who would know how to buy and sell stocks would be smart enough to check the exchange first before buying...

Xerino said,
Have they even gone public yet? anyone who would know how to buy and sell stocks would be smart enough to check the exchange first before buying...

Public companies aren't the only ones with stocks. Private companies can have them too.

pack34 said,

Public companies aren't the only ones with stocks. Private companies can have them too.


+1 exactly. I can see how someone could be confused by this though, if they have not been involved in business...