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  1. #1
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The FBI has arrested a Dutch native in New York for allegedly selling $2.8 million in nonexistent shares of Google, the Internet search engine.

    Shamoon Rafiq, who was arrested at his home March 5, is accused of fraud as part of the scheme to sell victims shares of "Series B Preferred Stock" in Google, prior to what he described as the company's impending initial public offering, according to authorities.

    Google, based in Mountain View, has no such shares and isn't raising any capital, the complaint said.

    Doug Morris, a public defender representing Rafiq, declined to comment.

    His client, who has been charged by federal prosecutors, but not formally indicted, faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

    Rafiq is alleged to have collected $500,000 from at least four victims and offered them promissory notes for another $2.3 million. The FBI identified the victims only by profession, including the chairman of a global telecommunications company, a New York investment banker, a corporate attorney and a senior executive at a brokerage firm, according to the complaint.

    "Shamoon Rafiq preyed upon the public's enthusiasm for the growth of dynamic companies and in the process swindled some of the most sophisticated investors in the United States and abroad," Roslynn Mauskopf, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

    "This is another lesson to be wary of anyone claiming to have the inside track on an opportunity that seems too good to be true."

    There have been frequent news reports recently suggesting that Google will soon hold an initial public offering. The company has consistently denied such rumors, despite reports that it has hired some investment banks to underwrite the offering.

    According to authorities, Rafiq courted victims by claiming to be a limited partner with a prominent venture capital firm associated with Google, and by saying that he was involved in arranging Google's IPO. He also said he attended Stanford University with Google's founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

    The access, Rafiq told victims, allowed him to buy shares of Google that were normally reserved for friends and family at $12 each, the complaint said. Victims were asked to transfer the money to his bank accounts in New York or Amsterdam.

    A telephone call to Google seeking comment was not returned. However, Google has denied any ties to Rafiq, as has the unidentified venture capital firm, according to the FBI.

    Rafiq used the money he collected from the scam to support a lavish lifestyle in which he patronized some of the top restaurants, nightclubs and hotels in New York, Los Angeles and London, the FBI said.

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  2. #2
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    Heh, heh. Exactly those people who are employed to do due diligence. Hope they publish their names and the companies they are affiliated with.

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Yep Bob the charge sheet handed out all the dirty linen for those greed driven insider trading perps too. Glad they got whacked by this scammer but the little guys suffered too.
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