Menu
FTC charges game developer with misusing money raised on Kickstarter

FTC charges game developer with misusing money raised on Kickstarter

It's the agency's first consumer protection complaint involving crowdfunding

The creator of the board game, The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, raised more than $122,000 on Kickstarter but spent the money on personal expenses, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission charged on Thursday, June 11, 2015.

The creator of the board game, The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, raised more than $122,000 on Kickstarter but spent the money on personal expenses, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission charged on Thursday, June 11, 2015.

A project developer who raised more than US$122,800 on Kickstarter to create a new board game has been charged by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission with using the money for personal equipment, moving expenses, rent and licenses for a separate project.

Erik Chevalier, doing business as The Forking Path, asked for money from individuals to produce a board game called The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, but cancelled the project more than a year after the May 2012 funding campaign, the FTC said in its first consumer-protection complaint involving crowdfunding.

Chevalier promised refunds to backers, but many of them have not received the money, the FTC alleged. In a settlement announced by the FTC Thursday, Chevalier has agreed to refrain from any deceptive representations related to crowdfunding campaigns in the future.

It doesn't appear that backers who haven't yet received refunds will be getting them. The FTC's settlement order imposes a $111,793.71 judgment against Chevalier, but the amount is suspended because of his inability to pay. The full amount will be due if the agency finds that he misrepresented his financial condition.

Many consumers realize that crowdfunded projects involve "some uncertainty," Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "But consumers should able to trust their money will actually be spent on the project they funded."

Chevalier was not available for comment on the settlement.

Chevalier's original Kickstarter goal was $35,000 for the board game, described as a "Lovecraftian game of urban destruction." More than 1,200 backers contributed to his campaign, with many contributing $75 or more to get a reward that included figurines in the game.

Chevalier provided several updates describing progress on the game, before cancelling it in July 2013.

"Every possible mistake was made, some due to my inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues and technical complications," Chevalier wrote then. "No matter the cause though these could all have been avoided by someone more experienced and I apparently was not that person."

Chevalier planned at the time to offer refunds to all backers. "I never set out to con anyone or to perpetrate a fraud but I did walk into a situation that was beyond my abilities and for that I'm deeply sorry," he wrote.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationinternetlegale-commerceU.S. Federal Trade CommissionCivil lawsuitsKickstarterJessica RichErik Chevalier

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments