Great article and read.
As a reformed start-up employee with a number of stints under my belt I can say that there is a tendency by most startup employees to believe too much in the company and the management. You actually did a good job of sniffing out trouble, taking steps to CYA and knowing when to pull the plug. There are SO many stories out there about employees staying way past when they should have through misguided emotions of hope, trust, embarassment, failure, etc and winding up with nothing.
The story of mis-leading and unscrupulous management wringing the most out of their staff are also legion. Your story takes the case for the level of dis-honesty and fraud though. Glad you survived and seem to have eeked out a learning experience.