WINNEBAGO COUNTY -- Social media giant Facebook says it plans to sell stock. It hasn't happened yet, but a Winnebago County woman claims she already has some, and police say she sold it to at least five people.
Marianne Oleson, who's also known to go by the last names of Jansen, Milock or Maloney, appeared in court Wednesday, charged with 31 felony counts of theft and forgery for the sale of fake Facebook stock.
Randy Stafford says he did construction work on Oleson's home in Nekimi in Winnebago County, and according to the criminal complaint, when Oleson couldn't pay up, she offered to pay Stafford in fake Facebook stock. "I think, it's a great opportunity. It's a growing business, and so on. I was scammed," Stafford said.
In all, Stafford wound up with more than $28,000 worth of fake Facebook stock. $18,000 was in payment for work he did on Oleson's house, and Stafford paid an additional $10,000 in cash for even more fake Facebook stock. "I'm interested in my options and investments, so you don't have to work as hard and make it a lot easier - money for my kids and family," Stafford said.
Stafford says something didn't seem right, so he went to police. "According to the victim, (Oleson) says she had bought right around $1 million worth of Facebook stock," Jeff Bellin with the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department said. Bellin says Stafford wasn't the only person scammed. "There were other victims initially identified, and from there, it just grew," Bellin said.
The criminal complaint lists five people, including Stafford, that either purchased fake Facebook stock from Oleson, or had it given to them as a gift. One of those people is Oleson's own daughter, who received the stock as a Christmas gift. The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department says in addition to those listed in the criminal complaint, there are at least five additional victims.
Investigators ask that anyone with any contact with Marianne Oleson, regarding Facebook stock contact the Winnebago County Sheriff or Oshkosh police.
Oleson also faces three marijuana-related charges. Her bond is set at $50,000. She's due back in court next week.
Randy Stafford has had his own run-ins with the law, including a 2000 conviction on second-degree sexual assault of a child.