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What’s The Verdict: FTC settles crowdfunding fraud with Erik Chevalier!
The big, bad Federal Trade Commission has settled its first case against a creator on the Kickstarter Project. Erik Chevalier and The Forking path, Co. jumpstarted a campaign to raise money for a fantasy board game called “The Doom that Came to Atlantic City.” Supposedly, Erik Chevalier raised about 4x his goal for the game, but used some of these funds for personal expenses including personal equipment, personal residence, etc. and we all know that’s not allowed!
Chevalier promised consumers that they would receive a copy of the game along with figurines if the campaign reached its funding goal of $35,000. He ended up raising over $120,000 from 1,246 backers. But then, in July 2013, he told his backers that the project had been cancelled. There had been previous issues regarding patents and overseas manufacturing, and consumers thought all was good until he told them it was not. Chevalier made a statement addressing the situation, “Every possible mistake was made, some due to my inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues and technical complications. 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.”
Backers were upset, Chevalier promised refunds which he of course couldn’t uphold, and the FTC began investigating. The FTC is pursuing him for violating a law on the dissemination of a false advertisement. Chevalier has neither confirmed nor denied allegations, but has given consent to a permanent injunction barring him from making misrepresentations about any crowdfunding campaign.
And that’s all she wrote. Stay tuned for more on What’s the Verdict!