A web entrepreneur who had it all by the time he was 21 managed to blow his staggering $2.5million fortune in just 12 months.
Andrew Fashion dropped out of high school to live the high life – his monthly $100,000 pay packet seeing him buy a plush Los Angeles house and several top-of-the-range sports cars.
He played high-stakes poker in Las Vegas, jetted away on a whim to London, Florida and Hawaii, and bought all the latest gadgets going.
But within just one year his websites, which gave users the tools to ‘design’ their MySpace pages, fell out of favour and the cash dried up.
Bankrupt and suffering from depression, he admitted: ‘I was young and stupid. The money was coming in so strongly, but it went out just as fast. A lot of the money just disappeared.’
Fashion, whose real surname is Thompson, built his business through months of shrewd marketing which saw his sites topping Google’s search rankings.
But a radical 2007 overhaul of the website meant Google believed it was a brand new page. It lost its Google ‘reputation’ overnight and plummeted to the engine’s eighth page.
Now not so visible, visitors dwindled and the income stopped. But Fashion still had overheads to pay, and a $400,000 tax bill he had not counted on.
He told Business Insider how it all went wrong: ‘I bought my first car, in cash. I bought my house and had $80,000 dollars of renovations done to it. I ended up buying seven cars total, a few for my friends.