Gold-farming empire linked to dot-com child abuse scandal

RADAR magazine has an article about Marc Collins-Rector (mugshot below from the Florida sex-offender registry) and Brock Pierce, founders of the dot-bomb online TV network DEN.

The co-author of the piece, John Gorenfeld says:

200711151248 Mention DEN, the Digital Entertainment Network, and dot-com historians will know you're talking about the ugliest of the bubble implosions. A forerunner to YouTube, it was brought down by the pedophile appetites of founder Marc Collins-Rector, who had promised to build "the last network," burying TV forever. Its three founders lived in a VC-funded mansion in L.A. where boys -- promised stardom in Web clips -- [filed lawsuits claiming to have been] raped after decadent parties.

What happened after the three founders -- including Disney child star Brock Pierce -- fled the FBI by heading for Spain? An investigative report by Radar Magazine catches up with Marc Collins-Rector, who is walking rakishly free in London...and his protege Brock Pierce, whose giant company IGE -- which buys and sells cash in "World Of Warcraft" and other games -- is winning rave write-ups in Fortune and other magazines. In our long investigation, we discovered strong evidence that Collins-Rector -- who is hiding his money from child abuse victims -- may have helped fund IGE.

Plus you can now watch their hilarious/twisted flagship Web show, "Chad's World," a pedophile fantasy based on the founders' own lives.

As the lawsuits against the company mounted in early 2000, DEN–in which Pierce held nearly one million shares and Collins-Rector still owned a majority stake–began to hemorrhage money. The planned IPO, which was postponed after the first abuse allegations surfaced, was permanently shelved. A crumbling Nasdaq didn't help the situation. By May 2000, the start-up was bankrupt. Before long, its headquarters were gutted, the expensive computer equipment and office chairs sold off for a fraction of their original cost. Around Hollywood, rumors flew that Collins-Rector, Shackley, and Pierce were about to be arrested on embezzlement and sexual offenses. Before any charges were filed, though, the three men disappeared.

They didn't turn up again until May 2002, when a tip to Interpol led authorities to raid their luxury villa in Marbella, on the Spanish Riviera–an area British tabloids have dubbed the Costa del Crime due to its high population of English-speaking fugitives. Among the items recovered from the residence were guns, machetes, a trove of jewels, and child pornography. Pierce and Shackley were held for about a month by Spanish police and then released.

The prosecution of Collins-Rector also proved difficult. He remained in a Spanish jail for almost two years, fighting extradition, before finally being brought to the United States, where he pled guilty to eight charges of child enticement, a comparably minor offense. He was soon out of prison–receiving credit for the time he'd served in Spain. Since most of his alleged crimes took place at the mansion in Encino, it was up to L.A. County prosecutors to make any further charges stick, but the DA never took steps to do so. (The L.A. County district attorney's office refused to comment about the status of any DEN investigation.) The victims sought justice in the civil courts, however, winning a total of $4.5 million in summary judgments. Except for a small side agreement with Pierce, the award has yet to be paid, lawyers say.

(Here's a totally not safe for work parody video about the three founders of DEN on Fucked Company)




  1. I play World Of Warcraft daily, and I use Thottbot many times a week. I’ve even signed up and added information to it, such as coordinates for NPCs and quests.

    Now I have to find an alternative. If I had the time, I’d start one. Is anyone out there willing to do so? I know it’s a tough thing to ask, but I can’t imagine using Thott again. Ugh.

  2. Not to sound like a complete dork here but thott’s been dead to me since I found Better web page formating, a nice search engine, and better comment structure than thottbot.

  3. Man, what a crazy story. The full article is well-worth the read.

    Weirdly, back in 2001, I had a run-in with a similar company — I was living in LA, fresh out of film school, and was offered a job as a Tape Op at a company that had aspirations similar to DEN (but less money). They planned to show gay-themed movies and news, bookended by internally-produced host segments. I was to be responsible for simple stuff like hooking up cables and dubbing footage, and I smelled trouble when a boss asked me, “if any of our hosts can’t come in, could you fill in for them on-camera? And would you mind taking off your shirt?” That’s when I said no thanks.

    That company’s still around today, probably because as sketchy as they were, at least they didn’t drug and rape anyone. Yay, I guess?

  4. i can’t say i have ever in my life seen a photo of a person that screamed “sex offender” more so then this photo. the gross grin, that piece of hair swinging over and to top it off, such greasy looking skin, slap a priest outfit on him and you would have a new horror film villain.

  5. Except that Wowhead was recently bought by ZAM. ZAM used to own IGE but no longer does…except that the two companies just might be owned by the same people. There’s a lot of haze and grey in the ‘divestiture’ of IGE by ZAM.

    So how it boils down is like this: you can’t use Thottbot, Allakhazam or Wowhead without some reasonable risk that a pedophile scumbag isn’t making money from pageviews.

  6. as cartman would say, !@#$%!!

    so if we can’t use thottbot, allakhazam, or wowhead, wtf CAN we use? i don’t want my page click to make some damn pedophile money!

    i just discovered wowhead and thottbot this week, too (new to warcrack, yeah, that’s me… i avoided it for years and *now* look where i am…)

  7. is the site I use most often. It’s the best source I’ve found for info on game mechanics, class abilities, and instances, and it has a lot more info on quests (including coordinates) than it used to. I much prefer the site’s format to that of Thottbot. is another pretty good source for information and add-ons, and declares itself a gold-ad-free site. Have no idea who owns it, though.

  8. thanks for the info, Spinachy. actually, i like wowwiki, too, so that may be may alternative. i’ve never looked into, but i think i’ll zoom over there now and check it out….

  9. is owned by Michael Davis, registered through GoDaddy. I don’t know if Davis is good or bad, but there’s little info online about him and the stuff that’s there makes him seem like a coder, not a greed-head or anything.

    …just an observation…

  10. #4 defty:
    I was thinking that myself. That has to be one of the most unflaterring, “mug-shot picture taken for sex-offenders registry” looakalike picture I’ve ever seen.

  11. As if I didn’t have enough reasons to hate IGE and their gilsellers…

    Those of us on Alla need to hit them HARD with their links to IGE. Also, who also sells ad space to IGE.

  12. I’ve been telling this story for years (and linking the FC video) on MMORPG boards. But people still fund these creeps by buying gold.

    Most of the gold-selling shopfronts are actually IGE in disguise. They buy out their competitors. Most ‘gold farmers’ in games actually sell their gold wholesale, because it means instant US$ cash, and IGE on-sells it at a mark-up. IGE set up its own parent company and started doing things through subsidiaries, to hide the fact it was still IGE. It’s a very complex web of denials now.

    It’s a company worth hundreds of millions, or more. If you have ever bought gold, you directly caused IGE’s ownership of Allakhazam, Wowhead and Thottbot.

    What goes on in a sweatshop industry of young Asian boys, with rich US sugar daddies at the top? If you have ever bought gold, you funded whatever that means.

    Transactions involving virtual game currencies are also ideal for money laundering. There they are, in Triad territory, with an untraceable way to clean money. What do you think goes on?

    Further reading:,139023166,120106716-1,00.htm

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