Great post Penny, thank you for sharing your unfortunate experience to help highlight the perils of start ups. I think the saddest part about reading this entire story wasn’t the company having a terrible product to begin with, hiring unsuitable staff when there’s no budget, borrowing funds from team members, the deception when funds have run out, and the ultimate fraud from management but it’s that a company hasn’t instilled problem solving at the heart of it culture and the ability to face challenges together. When a team isn’t encouraged to come together and help solve a problem, whenever faced with adversity everything falls apart which leads to pointing fingers and passing blame. The problem should have been addressed a long time ago starting with the product as “we’re facing funding difficulties because investors don’t believe we have enough of a differentiating solution — let’s find ways to make ourselves different”. This is truly the difference between a leader and ultimately, an individual who has turned to be a scam artist. I truly hope this doesn’t affect you working for another start up in future, there are some extremely promising companies out there producing great products. All the best.