The resignation of internet tycoon Evan Thornley from the Victorian Parliament continues to mystify with the millionaire remaining ensconced in his French hideaway. But recent events are not Thornley’s first brush with controversy -- with the near collapse of Looksmart, the company he founded, and his apparent source of his vast wealth remaining largely unexplained.

Thornley rode the crest of the dot.com boom with aplomb -- when LookSmart shares hit $72 in early 2000, Thornley was worth more than $1 billion based on his (and wife Tracey Ellery's) holding of slightly more than 15 million shares.