Scammer Successfully Sells Non-Existent Google Shares To Execs

from the watch-them-drool dept

If you talk to people in either the investment banking or the tech world, it seems like the whole world revolves around the (still unannounced) Google IPO. The various investment banks were pushing each other aside to get the underwriting gig, and now individuals are doing everything they can to position themselves to get whatever share scraps they can dig up. If this seems like the perfect setup for a scam, you'd be right. Some guy in NY convinced high ranking executives at some major companies that he could sell them Google "friends and family shares". It seems these executives didn't actually do any kind of due diligence, but just forked over hundreds of thousands of dollars to this guy, with no proof that he could actually sell them any shares. The FBI hasn't released the names of the victims, but describes them as "the chairman of a global telecommunications company, a New York investment banker, a corporate attorney and a senior executive at a brokerage firm." Seems like these are the types of people who should know better - but with all the hype and frenzy surrounding the potential Google IPO, it's no surprise that they were taken.

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  • identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 15 Mar 2004 @ 6:58am

    I hate fraud, but...

    It seems there should be a point where if you can pull a stunt like this against people who really, well and truly should know better, that perhaps the police and the FTC should stand back, offer up some polite golf applause and say "good show, good show!".

    It's not like he was ripping off senior citizens or something...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2004 @ 7:59am

      Re: I hate fraud, but...

      > It's not like he was ripping < br>> off senior citizens or something

      Oh, so the quality of the victim counts now?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2004 @ 8:07am

        Re: I hate fraud, but...

        Obviously yes. If you *really* think that to steal 1.000.000 bucks from Bill Gates (or some other similar guy) is the same (or even worse) that to steal a worker all its retirement money you have some serious mental & moral problem, friend.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          eeyore, 15 Mar 2004 @ 10:43am

          Re: I hate fraud, but...

          Theft is theft, and fraud is fraud, whether you're conning senior citizens out of their life savings or hustling greedy billionaires out of a few bucks. If you don't see how the two are the same you're the one with the serious mental & moral issues.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anti-Exec, 15 Mar 2004 @ 12:12pm

            Re: I hate fraud, but...

            All parties involved are scum. The "buyers" deserve to lose any and all money they transferred to this guy for trying to get cheap shares. F these people who don't play by the rules and then cry foul when they get burned.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          paket, 15 Mar 2004 @ 1:51pm

          Re: I hate fraud, but...

          Do you *really* think that it is right to steal from people who have more than you do? If so, have you ever considered the fact that you rank within the top few percent of the planet? Your ability to post this single comment puts you far, far ahead of most of the people in the world. There are billions who could not even imagine what it would be like to be as rich as you.
          Now, how would you feel if an "average" citizen of the world (who is far poorer than you) showed up one day and made off with your computer, TV or car? After all, they need it worse than you, right? Just like the con man in the story needed the money worse than the ones he ripped off. Or maybe we're going to draw an arbitrary line - open season on anyone richer than the original poster, but anyone poorer is protected.
          No one has any natural claim on anyone else's work or posessions.
          The product of a man's hands ought to be protected as strongly as the product of his mouth

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Adrian Anders, 15 Mar 2004 @ 3:51pm

            Re: I hate fraud, but...

            Oh yea, what about the rich assholes who suck up corporate welfare, or cheat on their taxes by shipping it out of the country, or impose bullshit charges on the bank accounts of working families which they manage because they happened to have lost money in the casino…. oh I mean the stock market. Ooh what I would do if I could get my hands on them. So I say yea, rip them bastards off. Valets, take the change out of the Mercedes that you park, because your overlords aren't going to give you a raise any time soon. Office drones, take those pens, floppies, and CD-Rs when you leave your comfy cubicle for the exciting fast paced field of sandwich manufacturing (now with pay cuts and fewer benefits). You're deluding yourself if you think America has a truly free market. The only thing that's free are the corporations who are free to walk on the average man/woman with their big monopoly sized boot. Morals apply to us just as much as them. If the rich won't play by the rules, why should we?

            ATA

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              eeyore, 16 Mar 2004 @ 10:46am

              Re: I hate fraud, but...

              When you get mugged by a third-world immigrant who thinks the exact thing about you that you think about corporate america you'll understand why.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                maxx, 26 Mar 2004 @ 8:13am

                Re: I hate fraud, but...

                that third world guy that muggs you is probably a guy trying to suppliment his piss poor wage(as a computer software scientist),working for an american company,that just off shored YOUR job.(you will find out at the last moment.)

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Oliver Wendell Jones, 15 Mar 2004 @ 8:40am

        Re: I hate fraud, but...

        No, the quality of the victim should never count in a truly ideal world, but...

        One of the guys who got taken was an INVESTMENT BANKER for crying out loud.

        If a guy on a street corner sells blueprints for a car that runs on water to unsuspecting passer-bys you feel bad for the people who get taken and you get mad at the guy who took advantage of them.

        If the same guy takes those blue prints to Chrysler's engineering team and they sit down and review the blueprints and see that they obviously can't work but they buy them anyways, do you still feel sorry for Chrysler and get mad at the conman?

        The people that got "ripped off" by this scheme all sound like intelligent professionals who allowed their own greed to interfere with their rational thought process.

        Do you really think that they were buying Google stock because they are big fans of Google or because they knew that the price was going to spike and they were going to get rich?

        They were trying to do the same thing that the conman did, but they were trying to be "legal" about it.

        I don't feel sorry for them, nor do I feel sorry for people who lose all their money to a Nigerian scammer.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      John Habling Jr, 24 Apr 2004 @ 9:13pm

      Re: I hate fraud, but...

      Should we say its right? no its not. Should we say that we pitty them? how can we? they are still well off, any they derserve it for doing what they knew, something wrong, happens to be so they were doing wrong to them selves rather then to...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DV Henkel-Wallace, 15 Mar 2004 @ 7:32am

    F&F shares

    Not to mention that those F&F shares aren't for sale anyway. You get them as a gift and they appear in the broker's account at the IPO.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Arthur De Pasquale, 30 Apr 2004 @ 5:31am

    No Subject Given

    Hi! Too bad that stupidity is not a crime. I'm poor and can not afford to buy Google Stock. I hope they catch the seller and give him a few thousand shares. As for the idiots fine them the cost of the shares, for their greed.Also prevent all sides from doing this again. Thanks, Artie
    P.S.I'm new to this computer stuff, at 66 I just watch the goings on

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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