ICv2 has a report on what could be one of the first case of prosecuting Kickstarter fraud.
The case involves the Kickstarter by Altius Management which raised $25,000 in 2012 to produce an Asylum playing card game and associated tchotkes including poker chips and so on. Nothing has shipped, and Washington State AG Bob Ferguson, has filed a suit against Altius on behalf of Washington residents.
The suit seeks return of the money and fines up to $2000 per backer. There were 810 backers, so if the full amount were applied to all the backers the total fines would be over $1.6 million.
In addition to Altius, the case was filed against Edward J. Polchlepek III, who described himself as “entertainment industry veteran Ed Nash” in the Kickstarter.
You can read angry reactions by backs in the above link—failed crowdfunders are usually seen as the result of personal failings, and backers usually complain but can’t do much. It will certainly be interesting to see if other legal authorities get involved in other no show rewards.
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.