Infamous dotcom-founder/sex predator raises $12 on Kickstarter


Remember Marc Collins-Rector? He was the founder and chairman of DEN (Digital Entertainment Network) the proto-YouTube company that became an exemplar of the first dotcom bubble. Despite huge hype and celebrity investors, DEN crashed and burned in 2000. One reason for DEN's spectacular flameout could be that Collins-Rector was (according to lawsuits) spending a lot of time taking boys to his mansion and raping them. (Victims in civil court were awarded $4.5 million in summary judgments and he pled guilty to charges he lured minors across state lines for sexual acts.

Buzzfeed has an update on Collins-Rector, "the man who once raised at least $24 million for his video-streaming startup lives alone and infirm in a European port city, his apartment crammed with computers. In a recent Kickstarter bid, he raised a mere $12 — which he donated himself."

Found: The Elusive Man At The Heart Of The Hollywood Sex Abuse Scandal

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  1. Shuck says:

    Even the lousiest, scam-iest Kickstarters I've seen have managed to at least earn a few dollars from someone else. Although he used the pseudonym "Morgan von Phoenix" in this case, so I suppose we can't blame recognition of his criminal past here. I guess it really was that lousy - I suppose people aren't inclined to give nearly a half-million dollars for a "subscription manga" service with no sample content in a world that already has plenty of good web comics.

  2. I just checked, and yep, it's a shitty Kickstarter. No sample art, no business plans, nothing but some text docs that he wants to turn into comics if he can find an artist. Oh, and he wanted $430k to put some comics on a website. Just one block of text with some vague ideas for maybe putting content online.

    There is no way in hell I would have backed that.

    Apparently the guy is afraid of the word "Years", as many of the rewards are broken up into "12 month" segments. Amusingly, he has reward levels for 50 and 100 "12 month" subscriptions.

    I have to wonder if he was this lazy/incompetent with his original dot com venture too? Might explain how it imploded so badly, although it doesn't explain how he go someone to fund it in the first place.

  3. I don't think the problem is nomenclature. You asked if 'across state lines' made a crime worse. I replied that isn't always the case, and hopefully I'll be able to better explain myself.

    The reason they may not be "more severe" is because some laws can only ever exist at a federal level. For example: counterfeiting. Our money is controlled by the Federal Reserve (it's a national thing), and is the same for all states, so counterfeiting our money is always a federal crime. Other forms of counterfeiting are also investigated and tried federally because copyright law is also federal law. There is no correlating state law - so there's no "lower" (state or local) law to compare it to. There's no way to make the crime "less bad".

    In those cases, it's not a case of "locals can't cope" - it's a case of unification. Typically, our federal laws are only in place for unification of enforcement. That's why when a lawbreaker crosses state lines, the crime typically moves into federal territory.

    @waetherman's example about murder omitted the fact that it too, is a crime that becomes federal if it involves multiple states: "If the victim is a federal official, an ambassador, consul or other foreign official under the protection of the United States, or if the crime took place on federal property or involved crossing state lines, or in a manner that substantially affects interstate commerce or national security, then the federal government also has jurisdiction." (my bolds) All of those would be covered by the feds. In part, that's because our states have different punishments for murder - including some allowing, and some not allowing - the death penalty. So when a person murders in several states, we need one law to cover it all. Also, it's because a federal crime is always handled federally. Some murders have federal components.

    You asked about 'bank robbery across state lines'. Robbing any bank insured by the FDIC is a federal crime because the deposits there are insured by the Fed. You don't even have to cross state lines or rob more than one.

  4. I think you're making the mistake of thinking about this logically instead of historically. The USA wasn't designed to be the way it is now; it grew out of a thousand decisions about how to reconcile states' rights with the federal government and expansion to the west of the continent and the introduction of new technology (such as railroads, the telegraph, that kind of thing).

  5. Kii says:

    I think your confusion stems from one of the weirdest things about US law: the legal basis for making federal laws. I'm sure you know the US is a federation with fairly strong states. What you may not know is the US constitution specifically lists the powers of the federal government. Any power not specifically listed as belonging to the federal government belongs to the states. The US congress can only make a law if the area the law regulates is one of the ones listed. For example, congress can make laws about coining and valuing money because the power to coin money and regulate its value is specifically given to Congress.

    One of the powers congress uses a whole lot, and has stretched to some pretty amazing lengths, is the commerce clause. It says congress has the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states, and with the Native American tribes. This is where the whole crossing-state-lines thing comes in. If some activity involves crossing state lines, then that activity is related to interstate commerce and congress can make laws regulating the activity. So while congress cannot constitutionally make a law that says “transportation of X is illegal” it can make a law that says “transportation of X across state lines is illegal.” So many of the federal criminal laws must involve crossing state lines so congress can point at the commerce clause and say “see?! The constitution says we can totally do that.”

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