April 25, 2014

Facebook Fraudster Sentenced

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that Allen Weintraub, 48, of Boynton Beach, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Donald Graham to 111 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit $140,280.47 and to pay the same amount in restitution to two victims of a scheme to sell Facebook shares.

In February 2014, Weintraub pled guilty to two counts of mail fraud. According to an agreed factual proffer, in February 2012, Weintraub, using an alias, steered potential investors seeking to purchase pre-IPO stock of Facebook to the website of Private Stock Transfer Inc. by posting a response on www.quora.com. In that post, Weintraub claimed that he had purchased Facebook stock from Private Stock Transfer Inc. When victims went to the website and sought information on purchasing Facebook stock, Weintraub responded representing that Private Stock Transfer Inc. had thousands of Facebook shares available for purchase. He directed that various forms be completed which represented that victims were purchasing shares described as “Facebook Inc. by and through PST Investment III, Inc. Class A shares on a one for one conversion basis.” PST Investment III Inc. was another company associated with Weintraub. After the victims sent payment to Weintraub’s bank accounts, Weintraub issued and mailed stock certificates for PST Investment III shares that would convert to Facebook shares on a one-for-one basis once Facebook went public. In reality, neither Weintraub nor Private Stock Transfer Inc. had any Facebook shares. The two victims were defrauded a total of $414,000.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lois Foster-Steers.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.