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Socialite's Husband Allegedly Scammed Investors on E-Commerce Site

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This is what looks like right now

According to charges filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court, would-be entrepreneur Andrew Albert has spent the past few years living off the nearly $600,000 investors gave him to launch a luxury shopping site called On1Ave. The site was supposed to provide a virtual reality experience where users could stroll down a street like Madison Avenue or Rodeo Drive, trying on clothes as they went.

Albert snared three investors and even managed to persuade former Anna Wintour assistant and onetime Prada PR VP Melissa Skoog to join him in the project. But instead of hiring web developers or building out a business plan, he used the money on groceries, clothing, beauty products, and expensive new Tribeca loft. He even managed to spend $6,700 on his dog. When Skoog got suspicious, he fired her, returned her investment, and threatened to sue her. All this came to light in court yesterday, where Albert pleaded not guilty to charges of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree and Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree.

If this sounds like a cautionary tale about a post-Gilt e-commerce bubble, keep in mind that Albert's actually a bit of an early adopter. He started working on On1Ave back in 2008 along with his girlfriend Annie Churchill, who is now his wife. At the time, Churchill confided to the Observer that she wasn't nervous about working with her significant other: "Normally, I would say yes, but we’re both so professional that I really am not worried."
· Entrepreneur Indicted After $590 K. Investment Allegedly Produces No Website, Just Tribeca Loft and $26 K. in Groceries [NYO]
· Prosecutors Call Shopping Venture a Sham [NYT]
· Socialite's Hubby Charged With Taking $600K for Failed Shopping Site [DNAinfo]

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