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Date Stamp tab - Editorial Mon Jul 10

June 26, 2000

The Great Internet Con

David Stanley was running from the law when he saw an opportunity: the Internet. He adopted a fake name and started Pixelon, a company lauded by investors and the press. Then the scam began to unravel.


The Standard: 070300 David Stanley Before & After

The Great Internet Con
Pixelon founder Michael Fenne raised $30 million for his Internet video company and seemed to be headed for startup success – until he was revealed as a fugitive con artist.

A Tangled Web
David Stanley's ruse that he was a computer programmer named Michael Adam Fenne was an elaborate plot involving a host of characters.

Time Line
Follow David Stanley's trail as he runs from the law and plots an instant startup success.

The Paper Trail

'Everyone Loves Me'
Read the letter that Stanley sent to his third wife shortly after fleeing authorities in Virginia.

'Dear Michael'
Read a glowing endorsement that Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson gave to Pixelon and Fenne.

'Actual Results May Vary ...'
A press release announced that eCommercial was buying a 10 percent stake in Pixelon for $4 million. Read the press release that helped persuade Advanced Equities to secure $28 million for Pixelon.

Read documents filed in a 1995 court hearing that determined whether Stanley was to go to prison.

Opportunity House
Read a memo to the court regarding Stanley's placement in a halfway house.

Wise County (Va.) Circuit Court

Pixelon corporate Web site

More Troubles at Pixelon

Pixelon Misled Investors, Exec Admits

Pixelon Decimates Its Ranks

Pixelon's 'Golden-Tongued Salesman'

Pixelon's Broken Promises

Pixelon Readies a Reboot

A partial list of the 50 charges brought against David K. Stanley (aka Michael Fenne)

  • 13 counts of obtaining money by false pretenses
  • 7 counts of embezzlement
  • 8 counts of securities fraud

Stanley was convicted of all of the above, which are punishable by up to 350 years in prison, according to Judge J. Robert Stump of the Wise County (Va.) Circuit Court

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