Woman Accused of Selling Fake Facebook Stock

VIDEO: Wisconsin police say woman tried to sell fake shares to at least 5 people.
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A woman in Wisconsin is accused of selling fake Facebook stock the same day the company went public.

Marianne Oleson, 46, of Oshkosh, Wis., is being charged with 33 felony counts of fraud, theft and forgery as well as a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession.

Randy Stafford, a contractor who worked on Oleson's Winnebago County house, filed a criminal complaint stating Oleson scammed him and four others into buying fake stock.

"She said, 'Hey, this is way bigger than Google and it's breaking all the barriers, records and investments, so I invested,'" Stafford told ABC News.com.

He wanted to invest to better his family and make life a little easier.

Stafford said he did contracting work on Oleson's house in exchange for what he believed would be 3,000 shares of stock, which would come out to around $100,000-worth. He said he did $18,000 of contracting work in addition to giving Oleson $10,000 in cash.

He initially heard about the business opportunity from a friend, who Stafford said is also a victim. Oleson told him that her uncle in the iron mine industry passed away, leaving her $3.5 million. She also told Stafford her daughter attended Harvard University with Mark Zuckerberg and is a doctor in California.

After Oleson showed Stafford paperwork, he passed it on to an investment firm that told him it was legitimate. All he had to do was wait for an official certificate.

Stafford started to become suspicious when Oleson would not conduct business over email, text message or phone calls, and would only speak freely in her home. She also changed the date when he would receive the certificate from six weeks to when Facebook would become public.

After the delay, he looked up public records under the name she had given him, Marianne Johnson. He did not find a Johnson, but found Oleson.

"Red flags were really flying up, and at that point that's when I went in on my own investigation," said Stafford.

Stafford talked to Gignesh Movalia, owner of Florida-based OM Investment Management, where Oleson said she got the paperwork. Movalia had heard the same story and sent Oleson paperwork, but there had never been any payment.

An attorney for Facebook in California told Stafford that Facebook could not confirm whether she owned stock or not, but it was doubtful because stock cannot be sold in the secondary market.

"I was still unbelieving," Stafford said. "I was trying everything to prove it was real."

However, after talking to the Facebook attorney, he contacted police. He said police told him they could not make an arrest because not everything connected.

"So that's when I went in to connect the dots with a wire," said Stafford. "She wouldn't do it by email, texting or phone; she seemed like a canary in her house."

Stafford said he went to the police to make sure Oleson would be off the street.

"It wasn't so much getting my money back, but getting her to stop," he said. "She would have scammed more people. I did the right thing to protect other people."

Stafford added that Oleson was good at what she was doing, that she did a lot of homework and could answer any question about the deal.

"If it's too good to be true, it probably is," he said.

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office told ABC News it could not comment on the case because it is an ongoing investigation, but said they believe there are more victims.

Oleson's attorney did not return ABC News.com's request for comment.

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