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article imageKickstarter man spends funds on himself

By Tim Sandle     Jun 14, 2015 in Crime
Legal action has been instigated in the U.S. against a man who used $122,000 raised on Kickstarter for a new game to spend on himself.
The man in question, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission states, is Erik Chevalier. In 2012, Chevalier used the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to raise funds for a new board game project. The game as a project titled "The Doom That Came to Atlantic City."
Crowdfunding is where “large groups of people combining their economic power to support an organization, company or project they believe in.” Normally incentives are offered, which vary according to the amount of money pledged. However, this is not always the case. Technically there are three types of crowdfunding: donation, debt and equity.Chevalier's scheme fell under the "debt" version; here people gave money because they believed in the project, and were happy to get the game later, maybe with a t-shirt or some other incentive thrown in.
Through the scheme, Chevalier raised over $122,000. However, he did not deliver on any of the incentives to which people had pledged money — including the board game itself. As part of a legal settlement, Erik Chevalier has agreed to refund all of the money he collected, once he has sufficient money to do so. The board game will never materialize.
According to the BBC, the case is the first to be brought against someone who misrepresented crowdfunding projects. Chevalier said that most of the money was spent on ideas and also moving offices; he also spent a proportion of the money on developing another project when he realized that the original board game idea was unlikely to get off the ground.
The case is important, given the rise of popularity with sites like Kickstarter and IndieGogo and it is important that those investing know that their money is safe and will be used only for the project advertised. To warn consumers in the future, the FTC has taken to Twitter.
More about Kickstarter, crowdfunding, Money, Erik Chevalier
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