As crowdsourcing has become a normal part of financing creative projects, a few bad apples have soured the barrel with non delivery. A few months ago, the FTC announced it would start looking in to Kickstarters that don’t deliver and now a Seattle court has ordered the creators of the Asylum Playing Cards Kickstarter—Altius Management and Edward J. Polchlopek—to pay over $54,000 in fines and settlement. The case, which was brought by the Washington state attorney general, involves a retro-themed playing card set that raised $25,000 . The $54,000 settlement involves various penalties as well as paying Washington state backers:
According to the AG’s office, the 31 backers based in the state of Washington are to receive $668 in restitution. But even more painful for Edward, he is now required to pay civil penalties in the amount of $31,000 for violating the Consumer Protection Act ($1000 per violation) and $23,183
for the cost of bringing the case to court (and to justice). Ouch. Edward will have to sell quite a few decks of cards to cover the cost of his decision to bail on the campaign.
In something of a twist, the card sets actually just started going out to backers, but that won’t change the settlement. Shoulda thought of that before you left the house, guys.
As reported at ICv2 it’s not clear if the fines will ever be paid but cases like this are making it clear that fraudulent Kickstarters are liable for legal compensation. We’ve covered many of these here at The Beat over the last few years, and while bringing a case to court may be expensive, it looks like at least in Washington State, the law is taking an interest.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.