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Guy Who Put Decent-ish Amount Of Effort Into Facebook IPO Scam Found Guilty

A prolific scam artist, the Facebook deal represents only 50% of the cons Troy Stratos will stand trial for this year (the other being ripping off Eddie Murphy's ex-wife).
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Say what you want about Troy Stratos, but the man put elbow grease into his hustle, which included coming up with a (n admittedly fake sounding) fake name1, reading the Wikipedia entry for Carlos Slim-- who served as an essential piece of the scam--, and continuing to swindle people via his associates from inside a prison cell.

Stratos, 49, was found guilty of four counts of wire fraud and two of money laundering. Stratos told investors he was helping Mexican telecom billionaire Carlos Slim buy a large stake in Mark Zuckerberg’s social network, according to prosecutors. The shares the investors purportedly were buying were left over from the Slim purchase, according to Stratos — who operated the scam under the name Ken Dennis. Stratos claimed the shares were allocated to “Soumaya Securities,” a phony investment company given a touch of authenticity by being named after Slim’s late wife...Stratos will be back in a courtroom later this year to face charges that he swindled Nicole Murphy out of $8 million by promising to handle her financial affairs following her divorce from Eddie Murphy...The Facebook transaction fell apart in late 2011, when Stratos was arrested for defrauding Murphy. Even then, according to court documents, he tried keep his Facebook deal alive from jail by having friends on the outside negotiate on his behalf.

Con man convicted in Facebook stock fraud [NYP]

1. Ken Dennis, really?


Chuck Schumer Is Ruining Facebook IPO Day For One Shareholder

As you may have heard, earlier this afternoon, Facebook priced its initial public offering at $38/share, valuing co-founder Eduardo Saverin's stake at approximately $2.9 billion. Since Saverin conveniently renounced his US citizenship last week, he will avoid paying millions in capital gains taxes and hang on to an estimated $67-$100 million that would have otherwise gone to the government, news that did not sit right with Chuck Schumer. Did the Senator from New York call the guy a "piece of shit miscreant"? No. Did he send him an email that included the line, "fuck with me and you will have a huge asshole"? No. But Schumer was inspired to create draft legislation aimed at tax-dodging ex-pats like Saverin and to let the kid know he makes him sick. Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Bob Casey (Pa.), who called Saverin's decision "despicable," said the Facebook co-founder stands to save $67 to $100 million in taxes by renouncing his citizenship. "Senator Casey and I have a status update for him: pay your taxes in full," Schumer said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. Their so-called "Ex-PATRIOT Act" would impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on American investments for those who renounce their citizenship and would also prohibit individuals like Saverin from re-entering the country. The law -- which only applies to individuals with a net worth of over $2 million or an average income tax liability of at least $148,000 -- would not apply to non-American investments by former citizens. Under the proposed legislation, the IRS would decide soon after an individual relinquishes his or her citizenship if the renouncement was motivated by tax avoidance. The individual would then have the opportunity to provide reasons for the renouncement, but there would be a "strong presumption" the move was for tax purposes. "Mr. Saverin has decided to 'defriend' the United States of America just to avoid paying his taxes," Schumer said, showing his familiarity with Facebook's lingo. [NYP]

Serious Business Network Brings In Big Guns For Facebook IPO

When you've made the executive decision to turn your business channel into the Facebook IPO Show, it can get difficult figuring out how to fill every second of airtime. Obviously there will be breathless coverage from every conceivable angle, a countdown clock, and segments on "the evolution of social media," "advice for Mark Zuckerberg," the emotions surrounding a delay in trading, venture capital's feelings about Facebook, "what's the deal with Facebook's private shares," how "Facebook makes its employees happy," "networking Facebook's ecosystem," Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook profile, and whether Facebook is "your friend or foe." But with the tech analyst who agreed weeks in advance to have Mark Zuckerberg's face tattooed to his ass live on-air while network anchors discussed the significance it might have on how Facebook would close on its first day of trading backed out at the eleventh hour, CNBC found itself with a gaping hole in programming. Luckily, an unnamed producer who should win an Emmy for his or her work had the bright idea for this: In the above clip, CNBC travels to Mackay Elementary school in Tenafly, NJ to pick a bunch of 8 year-old analysts' minds on FB. Questions include: * "Is Facebook cool? If so, how long will it be cool for?" * "Would you rate Facebook a buy or a sell?" * "How much would you spend on one share of Facebook" (Answers include $150 and $1,000) * "Is it appropriate for a CEO to wear a hoodie? Would you take a guy in a suit more seriously?"

Founding Facebook President Meh At Best On FB

It's fine if you're a hermit but otherwise the site just doesn't do it for Sean Parker anymore. Mr. Parker, who was the founding president of Facebook and was instrumental in helping Mark Zuckerberg expand that site, his latest venture's ability to help people expand their social networks and meet new people. He said social networks like Facebook can actually prevent you from meeting new people, and he described the current repertoire of social Web experiences as “boring.” “We’re trying to restore surprise and serendipity to the Internet,” he said. “It was definitely there in the early days, but it has disappeared.” Napster Founders Unveil a Video Chat Service [Bits]

Call The (Facebook) Close (Update)

Standard Price Is Right rules, closest without going over, guesses in by 3:45PM Winner gets your choice of an ‘I violently heart Dealbreaker’ embroidered hoodie, a visit from the Sandwich Fairy on Monday, or our Facebook friendships.