Financier pleads guilty to $13M Facebook IPO stock scam

A former Oregon gubernatorial candidate has pleaded guilty in a $13 million securities scam to sell pre-IPO shares of Facebook before the social network went public.

Craig Berkman, a Florida financier who ran for governor in 1994, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to one count each of securities fraud and wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Berkman, 71, bilked more than 120 investors out of $13.2 million with promises of an early shot at the highly coveted shares. He also admitted falsely telling investors … Read more

Nasdaq CEO: 'Arrogance' led to Facebook IPO flop

Nasdaq's chief executive says "arrogance" and "overconfidence" among the stock exchange's staffers contributed to Facebook's mishandled IPO last month.

Robert Greifeld said Sunday that the stock exchange simulated high trading volumes on the trading systems before the May 18 IPO but was unprepared for the number of canceled orders just before the offering. "Testing didn't account for the increasing volume at which cancellations can come in," he told a conference of corporate directors at Stanford University's Law School, according to a Wall Street Journal account of the event.

Nasdaq … Read more

Apple's new iPad hits the streets

week in review Eager iPad shoppers mobbed stores around the world in hopes of getting their hands on Apple's next-generation tablet, which is already sold out online.

Wal-Mart's 24-hour stores in the U.S. got the jump on Apple by selling the tablet a full eight hours before Apple stores even opened. There was limited supply, however. For example, dozens of people lined up at a Wal-Mart in Union City, Calif., which had 40 iPads to sell. And many left disappointed.

At Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York City, hundreds of iPad fans waited in the … Read more

The 404 626: Where we dream the impoffible (podcast)

A quick announcement prior to today's episode of The 404 Podcast: Good news! After several failed attempts at watching "Inception," we learn today that tickets are indeed still available for purchase. The bad news is that you have to hike out to Hoboken, N.J., to see it.

Jeff caught a showing of it last night, and Wilson joins in as they offer a unique review of the rather confusing film. Jeff even wonders if director Chris Nolan has a firm grasp of the winding plot, and it apparently doesn't help when Ken Watanabe stumbles through … Read more

Report: Facebook privacy chief eyes Calif. AG office

Facebook's chief privacy officer is expected to declare his candidacy soon for attorney general of California, according to a report on TechCrunch.

Chris Kelly, who will run in the 2010 general election as a Democrat, is expected to leave the social-networking site in June to focus on his campaign, according to the report.

For Kelly, who has led the company's negotiations with state attorneys general on issues such as privacy, it will mean a sort of a change of sides. In May, Kelly negotiated an agreement with the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia … Read more