There are plenty of projects on Kickstarter. Some are great ideas, some not so great. Some are huge Kickstarter successes, but even within those there are frauds. Recently the a court in Washington has fined the creators of a Kickstarter project called Asylum Playing Cards, claiming that they were found guilty of crowdfunding theft.
Now a little backstory: the campaign was launched in 2012. It was a campaign for a deck of uniquely designed cards that was supposed to be delivered by December 2012. The campaign was a huge success and raised over $35,000, well above their original goal of $15,000. However the shipping date came and went with the backers not receiving their orders.
This ruling actually sets a pretty important precedent, and one that Kickstarter creators in the future should be aware of. According to a press release from the Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “Washington state will not tolerate crowdfunding theft. If you accept money from consumers, and don’t follow through on your obligations, my office will hold you accountable.”
Ferguson goes on to encourage customers from other states who have not received their orders to file similar complaints. The end result is that the creators of the campaign are now ordered to pay $668 to its 31 Washington state backs, $31,000 in civil penalties for violating the Consumer Protection act, and $23,183 to cover the state’s court costs.