Legal First? Lawsuit Alleges Kickstarter Scam

Washington state AG says donors got duped, deserve money back
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2014 11:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – The attorney general in Washington state appears to be breaking new ground on a modern malady: He's going after what he says is a bogus Kickstarter campaign that collected money and delivered nothing, reports the Seattle Times. Bob Ferguson has lodged a consumer-fraud lawsuit against the Tennessee company Altius Management, which asked people to pony up for a deck of horror-themed playing cards. The campaign pulled in $25,000 from more than 800 people—31 of them from Washington state—but Altius owner Edward Polchlopek hasn't fulfilled any of his promises after more than two years.

“Consumers need to be aware that crowdfunding is not without risk,” says Ferguson. “This lawsuit sends a clear message to people seeking the public’s money: Washington state will not tolerate crowdfunding theft.” The Better Business Bureau has launched an investigation of its own, and people in other states have begun filing complaints with their own attorneys general, reports KTUU. Kickstarter bears no financial responsibility for such financial flops, though a spokesperson says, "We hope this process brings resolution and clarity to the backers of this project." (Read more crowdfunding stories.)

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