Jennifer Sultan, at the young age of 25, became a millionaire after selling her tech start-up, Live Online, for $70 million in 2000. Sultan was a recent graduate from New York University when she and her partners sold the business, reports Business Insider.
Sultan is now broke and facing four years in jail after pleading guilty to selling prescription painkillers and conspiracy to sell an illegal handgun, reports the Associated Press.
Sultan lived a lavish lifestyle after selling the start-up, renting a Hamptons summer home, while also purchasing a Union Square penthouse. Sultan could not replicate the magic of Live Online, and other ventures were unsuccessful, notes Business Insider.
After her success, Sultan soon became addicted to painkillers, reports the AP. Sultan was arrested in July 2012 along with several others who were part of a prescription drug- and gun-selling ring, reports the New York Times. Four other individuals, including Nicholas Mina, a former New York police officer who pleaded guilty to selling guns he stole from lockers of other police officers, pleaded guilty. Mina will serve 15 years in prison and was also battling an addiction to painkillers, reports the NYT.
Sultan could have been facing 15 to life in prison for selling painkillers but reached a plea deal that will send her to prison for four years. Sultan was looking for less time in prison but ultimately agreed to the deal and pleaded guilty on Friday. According to her lawyer, Frank Rothman, Sultan was “happy to be done with it, but she was not happy with the sentence,” notes the NYT.
Sultan, along with her boyfriend, Adam Cohen, had created Live Online, reports NYT, a predecessor to sites such as UStream. Following the sale, Sultan and Cohen could not develop another successful tech company, and the two soon parted ways, filing for bankruptcy in 2010. The Union Square penthouse is still on the market for just under $6 million.
Police were alerted to Sultan’s criminal activities after they discovered a Craigslist ad offering the sale of painkillers. Police then worked undercover, and Sultan sold painkillers to officers on five different occasions between February and June 2012. One such transaction involved 183 oxycodone pills for $4,400, reports the NYT.
Sultan was also interested in holistic medicine and hopes to become a holistic medicine healer after she is released from jail, reports the AP. According to the NYT, with time served and good behavior, Sultan could be out of prison in two years.