Andrew Albert convinced several investors to give him $590,000 to start a luxury shopping website called On1Ave back in 2008. The site, according to Albert's pitch, would allow visitors to visit virtual shopping areas with actual stores like Ralph Lauren and the Gap, where they could "try on" clothes "using avatars programmed with the shopper’s measurements before purchasing."
Nutty as his idea may sound, Albert must have been pretty convincing because he got a hefty investment and persuaded former vice-president of PR at Prada, Melissa Skoog, to partner with him. When Skoog became suspicious that Albert was spending all the company's money on a Tribeca loft, groceries, and his dog (according to allegations, he spent $6,700 on his pet alone), he fired her. (She has since launched OnMyPlate.com, and isn't implicated in Albert's alleged crimes.) Moral of the story? Ideas involving avatars are usually bad, and sometimes getting fired is a very, very good thing.
Meanwhile, Albert has been indicted on charges of grand larceny and fraud.