Silicon Valley buccaneer jailed

A Silicon Valley buccaneer who was host at a $12 million start-up party in Las Vegas just six months ago to mark the launch of his company, Pixelon.com, will be spending this weekend in the less than glamourous surroundings of a jail in his native Virginia.

David Adam Fenne, who billed his splashy dot com as the Internet's first online broadcast network, turned himself into police in Wise, Virginia, late on Wednesday.

For four years, it turned out, Fenne was on Virginia?s most wanted list as a fugitive from the law. The secrets of Fenne are only now being revealed.

His real name is David Stanley, who in 1989 pleaded guilty to 55 counts of taking money a fraud scheme in Virginia and in Tennessee.

A judge gave him a suspended sentence to allow him time to refund his victims. But in 1996, he vanished.

With his new name, Stanley did what so many American outlaws had done before him. He made for the Wild West, which nowadays means dot com country.

But what with raising $35 million for Pixelon from trusting investing and staging his outrageous Vegas party, he hardly kept a low profile. Held at the MGM Grand, the event, dubbed 'iBash' '99', featured performances by Tony Bennett and a rare reunion of The Who.

Special tribute to Stanley and Pixelon was paid by Roger Daltrey. Pixelon has since hit hard times. It parted ways with Stanley last November.

Since then, it has also scaled back its ambitions, dropped plans to broadcast programming itself and focused on developing software for other broadcasters.

Nobody at Pixelon, however, could have anticipated such a surprise as this.

"It's just absolutely shocking to everybody here," said Stephanie Kietzes, the company's chief lawyer. "We'll be conducting an investigation into exactly who this person is."

Stanley told the authorities that he decided to turn himself when he realised they were closing in on his Silicon Valley house. The sheriffs, at last, were riding into town.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager - Email Marketing Services

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are looking for a highly or...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Manchester

£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultan...

Recruitment Genius: Plumber

£22000 - £25900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company is expanding and th...

Recruitment Genius: Corporate Account Manager

£27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Corporate Account Manager is ...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders