The life of Jennifer Sultan, 38, took quite a turn from the heyday of the dotcom era when she cashed out of a fledgling tech company.
She entered a guilty plea in a New York courtroom to selling prescription painkillers and conspiring to sell a firearm. Four others in a crime ring had already pled guilty.
Thirteen years ago, the New York University graduate, her boyfriend, and other colleagues sold an Internet company for $70 million. Today she is in prison on Rikers Island since after she failed to raise $85,000 in bail. She received a sentence of four years in State Supreme Court in Manhattan Friday.
"I thought she got a harsher sentence than what was deserved, for a non-violent drug addicted first offender," said her attorney, Frank Rothman. "I would have hoped to get a less severe prison sentence, but I hope she will get the help she needs to conquer her demons and join society in a more positive manner."
Rothman said Sultan could have received a sentence in excess of ten years after she was arrested in July. She was accused of being part of an operation that sold prescription drugs and guns.
Last year, a New York City narcotics investigator found a Craigslist ad for prescription drugs posted by Sultan, as reported by the New York Times.
Sultan had sold pills to an undercover officer five times from February through June of last year. During one of the exchanges, she sold 183 oxycodone pills for $4,400, the Times reported.
She was living in a 5,600-square-foot New York City penthouse that she and her boyfriend, Adam Cohen, had bought after the sale of video streaming website Live Online in January 2000. Cohen is not accused of being related to the illegal activity associated with Sultan.
She was accused of sending a text message to a man who is accused of being the ringleader, Ivan Chavez, saying she wanted him to sell a .357 Magnum handgun for $350, the Times reported. Chavez received a sentence of 20 years in jail.
"I know she's disappointed in the jail sentence she received, but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel," Rothman said. "She is grateful, but we had hoped collectively she would have done better."
Sultan and Cohen filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and in August, the bankruptcy judge ordered them to vacate the loft to sell it. The loft is still listed for sale for under $6 million, as reported by the Times.
"She was successful, but her assets did not come close to what has been previously reported," Rothman said. He said she never had "millions and millions" of dollars some media outlets have reported, though he does not know her past or present net worth. The New York Times reported she received a small amount of the total value of Live Online.
Rothman, however, is optimistic about her future, which may include acupuncture or health. After selling the company, she graduated from an acupuncture school.
"I'm fairly certain she will do quite well for herself upon her release assuming she is drug free," Rothman said.