If you thought you could use Kickstarter to fatten your own personal bank account, think again! The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suing the creator of a Kickstarter campaign for refusing to refund backers’ money after he abandoned his business venture, Slate reports.
The start-up project was called The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, a “Lovecraftian” board game of “urban destruction.” In 2013, the project collected $122,874 from 1,246 backers, who shelled out their cash to aid its creator Erik Chevalier. A year later, Chevalier announced that the project flopped and promised to refund the money — but he never did.
An anonymous group of backers filed an FTC complaint against Chevalier to recover the lost funds. According to Diehard GameFan, The Doom That Came to Atlantic City was a big, fat scam:
“Eric Chevalier had basically run away with over one hundred grand in crowdfunded money. There was no work on the game. He just kept posting faux excuses and was lying even to the creators of the game. He posted some outright lies on the Kickstarter page about the game proceeding as planned only to eventually cancel it and walk away with all the backer money.”
According to the FTC, Chevalier used most of the backers’ money on himself. Chevalier is facing a judgment of $111,000, which is presumably the funds raised by the Kickstarter campaign, minus Kickstarter’s own cut and processing fees. The FTC adds, though, that this penalty will be suspended due to Chevalier’s “inability to pay.”
This is the first time the FTC has cracked down on the guileful practices of crowdsourcing campaign creators.
Jeff Kagel, a backer, said: “I really don’t care about the money that is gone at this point, nor the game. I pledged $75 to get the [board game]figures, which I’m sure I’ll never see. Now I just want to see this guy put in prison.”