Before several key investors were dumping their Facebook stock, one Florida man made millions of dollars off his shares. Too bad they didn’t really exist. John Mattera, 50, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of fraud and conspiracy after running an $11 million scam involving nonexistent shares of Facebook and Groupon.
As AllFacebook reported last year, Mattera was accused of selling fake access to shares of Facebook and Groupon, months before the social network went public. Mattera eventually racked up $11 million of investments, although people were just helping the man’s checkbook. Documents show that Mattera used $4 million of that investment to buy luxury cars and jewelry, as well as to pay taxes.
Mattera also got into trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as he tried to transfer a Lamborghini to his wife for $28,000, in violation of a court-ordered assets freeze. Additionally, Mattera borrowed $114,000 and transferred that to his wife in order to pay expenses, violating another court order.
As part of a plea agreement, Bloomberg News notes that Mattera will spend 10 to 12 years in prison.
Readers: Does the punishment fit the crime?
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