Startup maestro duped Alabama town through network of lies
Art Business

Startup maestro duped Alabama town through network of lies

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) – Looking back, there are so many reasons Kyle Sandler was able to separate so many people from so much of their money. Sandler rolled into this old railroad crossroads at a time when Opelika (Oh-puh-LIE-kuh), was trying to bounce back from the Great Recession. The city of 30,000 needed a boost. Soon, everyone who mattered had heard Sandler’s captivating story: He was one-time Google executive who got rich on the West Coast and moved to their east Alabama town. He drove a sporty Jaguar and had, in his own words, "a heart of gold." So when Sandler opened a business incubator called the Round House, people bit. Their faith only deepened when Sandler aligned himself with local John McAfee, an early pioneer of internet security, and landed national media coverage for a local teenager with an idea for a new kind of vending machine said to be worth millions. "Kyle was a master. I think he could get money out of a guy living under a bridge," said Chuck Wacker, one of dozens of locals who invested in the Round House. In all, authorities said, Sandler raked in investments totaling about $1.9 million from more […]

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