A multi-millionaire entrepreneur says his road to super-wealth and a lavish lifestyle started when he stole 30K – from his MUM.
Andrew Michael stages lavish parties that included celebrity appearances after the success of his web-hosting company Fasthosts.
But he said he was only able to start the company after he nicked his mum’s credit card when he was 17 and spent £30,000 on it.
He used he cash in 1997 for a fast internet connection installed which involved having the road dug up outside the house he shared with his mum n Cheltenham., Glos.
Mr Michael also used the cash to take out some magazine adverts.
Andrew says he and his friend decided to fill a gap in the market and set up their own web-hosting company called Fasthosts.
He told the BBC: “All of the web-hosting companies in the UK at the time were pitched at much bigger companies.
“But we saw that small businesses and individuals wanted something self-service and easy to use.
“We had the computers we needed in my bedroom at mum’s house, and we had created the software ourselves.
“But what we really needed was a high-speed internet connection, which in those days involved digging up the road. It cost about 30 grand, but we had no money.’
Thinking he had no other option, Andrew told the BBC he then swiped his mother’s credit card and ordered the internet upgrade.
“We kind of blagged it over the phone,” he says. “By the end of the month we had enough clients and money to pay for the internet line and the advertising.”
The plan was to earn enough in the first month to pay off the credit card bill when it arrived.
And, according to the BBC article, not only did it work but his mother forgave him for the use of her credit card.
At the age of 17, he quit his education at St Edward’s School in Charlton Kings to concentrate on Fasthosts.
The business started as an A-level project but later made him his fortune.
In 2005, it turned over a profit of £15 million and Andrew became famous for the lavish Christmas parties he laid on for the 100 staff he employed.
Acts included the Sugababes and Girls Aloud.
He once paid for US R&B singer Usher to perform at his girlfriend Katy Teague’s birthday party.
Nine years after starting Fasthosts, he sold it for more than £61million.
But he told the BBC that he got bored and two years later launched Livedrive, allowing clients to store unlimited files online.
That was, eventually, also a massive success before Andrew sold it in 2014.
He now runs Bark.com, a website that helps people to hire professionals to get jobs done.
Andrew, who was born in Cyprus and is now 39, told the BBC that he was still ambitious and he wanted to have more success.
By Robin Jenkins