Start-Up Founder Sentenced For Fraud

from the good-riddance dept

There were plenty of stories of con artists starting up fake dot coms during the boom, and then using all those VC funds for their own personal things. One of the biggest (known) scams was at, where the founder, Steven Ristau, claimed he had invented a technology that could wirelessly beam data from a distance of 12 miles at a high enough rate that you could view a television program online. In reality, he simply hid a wireless access point in the ceiling of the room where he ran demonstrations. It makes you realize just how little due diligence VCs were doing back during the boom times. These days, however, Ristau has been found guilty of fraud and sentenced to 11 years in jail. He’s also been ordered to pay back all the money he conned out of people (which he used on vacations, a house, cars, and a bodyguard, among other things). However, most people who were conned probably won’t ever see their money again, as he spent a large portion of it.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...