Imaginary product, millions invested — and it's not a Web 2.0 startup

Vexed by the piles of cash hopeless Web companies raise? Burned by a bad investment in a startup? Indulge your schadenfreude in the story of Brent Kovar and his "magic" box scam. The "entrepreneur" claimed his "invention" could dramatically boost internet transmission speeds via satellites — only problem: it didn't exist. With prime penthouse real estate, a box of spare parts, an antenna not connected to anything, some technical mumbo jumbo, and a female employee mimicking the two-second delay of a satellite transmission in the other room, Kovar was able to bilk friends, family, neighbors, and investors out of upwards of $21 million for more than eight years. At least most of these Web startups have a real product... um, never mind.