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Anyone got an answer from the ftc? Not talking about the letter they sent to everyone...
Heck, at this point, I don't know why I'm even commenting on this. But...
I'm completely done with crowdfunding and Kickstarter -- and buying anything retail from a Kickstarter-funded company, since I've been waiting 14 months for my Sesame lock.
One thought if you want blood for their $129: civil lawyers want something of value they can go after, and I sense Dave & Jerry have far less cash than Ben & Jerry. Even if they're personally liable, it's easy to declare personal bankruptcy. Neither one is showing his Tesla on Facebook ... although Jerry isn't going by "Jerry" anymore.
Now, if someone in China can prove that there was a coordinated fraud and no parts were ever bought, perhaps the Illinois AG or DOJ will get interested in criminal Fraud charges, since this could be a politically positive case. But that would require someone entering a Flextronics or contractor plant to photograph empty boxes or copy paperwork, not likely.
If you're continuing to pursue restitution and justice, I wish you luck and thank you for your efforts. I'm outta here.
At one time I said this project look like a scam, after that another backer replayed "I can believe you call this a scam" o something like that. My question to that backer is, Do you believe you were not scam? I'm sorry that so many of us were let down.
Well, paypal is removing their "buyers protection" from payments toward crowdfunding projects:
If you ever wanted to know on how big a scale scamming is going on in crowdfunding, there you have it: paypal loses enough money to react to this, so it must be a lot higher than the in the single digit millions.
Im practically done with crowdfunding, this project was the last nail in the coffin.
I never received anything from this project. it's a sham. they took my money and I never recieved anything from them.
Kickstarter are refusing to confirm to me which legal entity they transferred the money to. It looks as though the money we paid was to David Vondle and Jerry O’Leary 'trading as' Central Standard Design, which was not a limited liability entity - therefore they are still both personally responsible for the funds.
Please ask Kickstarter to confirm the entity yourselves. They're being very obstructive in clarifying.
@Trogdor wouldn't be surprised if something similar happened with CST. They can't exactly prove they ever purchased any of the components.
Interesting read about another KS campaign where someone used money to build their house...
I'm not a lawyer but I believe there is enough evidence to hold Dave Vondle and Jerry O'Leary accountable. Not only did they mismanage the project, they misspent funds, went against the will of the backers, and intentionally deceived us from the very start of the campaign. I'd love to believe that they were bumbling idiots, but their actions show intent at a malicious level.
@Jordan. Although i'm skeptical of eventual success I've submitted a claim at the FTC today.
Thanks and regards.
"Complaint has been submitted
Today 7:48 PM
Complaint Submitted - Your reference number is:
Thank you for contacting the Federal Trade Commission. We have given your complaint the reference number listed above. Please use that reference number if you need to contact us about your complaint in the future.
Once we have reviewed your complaint, you may receive another email with additional information that may further assist you."
I don't understand why they need my social to "clear up this debt". Sounds like a load of bollocks to me. That said, I found the owner of CRA on Linkedin, in case any of you want to reach out to him... https://www.linkedin.com/in/bob-handler-529134
@Jordan. Thanks for the links. Unable to complain to AG as the forum only supports US addresses. FTC complaint lodged.
I'm keen to establish whether the liquidation paperwork is valid. The payment receipt is made out to 'Central Standard Design', which is presumably the name Dave Vondle and Jerry O'Leary, it certainly doesn't appear to have been a registered limited liability entity, and we've not agreed to have their obligations transferred over to a limited entity, therefore I am wondering if Dave Vondle and Jerry O'Leary should still be personally responsible. Any thoughts?
Let's keep the pressure on these liars:
Everyone, if you haven't already done so please fill out complaints to the Illinois Attorney General and FTC.
Illinois Attorney General Consumer Complaint On-Line Submission Form: https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/
FTC Complaint: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov Select "Internet services, online shopping, or computers" then "Online shopping"
Seller/Provider: Dave Vondle and Jerry O'Leary doing business as Central Standard Timing
Address: 3039 W Fullerton Ave # 2
Chicago, IL 60647-2807
The legal entity named on the liquidation paperwork doesn't match the entity named on the payment receipts and Kickstarter are refusing to even confirm what entity they distributed our collected funds too. Absolute joke on behalf of the Kickstarter team, to really rub salt into the wound.
@Laird Popkin - Seriously, after all the lies and BS CST has told us so far, you choose to believe that fiction about them being able to deliver a slightly thicker watch? It was a rigged survey that the majority of backers didn't have proper notice to respond to. I want an accounting of how they mismanaged our money. For all I know, they took nice vacations with a portion of our KS funds instead of efficiently using it to complete the project.
did they burn through money?
What do they have to show for?
Supposedly thousands of displays, bands and batteries, but no proof or even picture that these ever existed. How strange is that?
The survey was concluded before everybody had a chance to vote... It might have been just part of a plot to pretend to have gone bankrupt because of factors outside their control, when in fact they funneled out the money from the project right into their own pockets.
Thats a common trick and Kickstarter isn't to blame for other people's criminal energy.
However they could be blamed for not having stricter rules or otherwise supporting the people who make their business possible in case things go south.
Even ebay which is also just a platform, refunds for frauds, misrepresentations and blocks sellers for much smaller offenses. Ebay sells only existing products? Well, I ordered a flute which had shipping of 4 weeks. Thats acceptable. However after paying I got a message that the person will get to making it within the next 20 days. Lol. Almost like our 2 CST founders here the person had pretended that the product was ready to go. Just revisit the CST campaign page for fun. Prototype and assembly working, supply figured out and all it needs is money for the parts. Lying from the beginning. Planned to fail to hide the money stolen from us or just "Fake it until you not make it"?
I don't blame Kickstarter - they're basically just a service allowing projects to advertise and collects funds. And this project was entirely doable. The failure came, I think, when they refused to make the watch that was slightly thicker than originally promised - that they could have delivered that a year or two ago, and it would have been an awesome watch! Instead they pursued impossible perfection, burning through all of the money and running up a huge debt.
That being said, as I recall they ran a survey and the community strongly preferred to wait for a thinner watch, so I suppose you could blame the backers for being unwilling to compromise.
But whoever you want to blame for that decision, they compounded it by burning through the money that should have been reserved for manufacturing the watches. Once they did that, which has to have started a LONG time ago, they had to know that they couldn't deliver, and they should have pulled the plug. Continuing, and hoping that an investor would dig them out, was I believe unethical. Instead, they should have either made the slightly thicker watch that was actually manufacturable, or shut down and given back whatever was left. Instead, by unwisely continuing, they've not only delivered NOTHING to their investors (i.e. us), they ended up still being over $900K in personal debt, which they may never recover from.
Saw this link in the news today. Have lost all faith in the Kickstarter platform.
Being burned more than once.
Given the course of events, I'm not inclined to give these jokers my SSN. I think I'll follow the advice of others and hold off on my claim. I doubt it would lead to a refund anyway. Instead of filling out their form I used the time to file complaints with the FTC and Illinois Attorney General.
If you recently got the email from them (or from commercial recovery associates) DO NOT MAIL IN THE FORM! This is yet another scam. You will NOT get your $ back and worse yet CRA will sell your address and info to other companies! Look on their website and it's obvious they are on CST's side, not ours! Feel free to re-post this so everyone knows.
We might've been looking at just a photo realistic 3D model in a picture here :/
Ктоньть объяснит мне смысл сего документа?
I hope you get fucked in the bottom and have to use all the stolen money to repair the arsehole.
We know that CST have proven themselves to be liars (remember that BS about living in a van on the parking lot of Flextrionics trying to get this watch finished, only to get outed by Flextronics when they said it never happened?) If they could prove that every cent of our money was used for legitimate purposed in making this watch a reality, and they just couldn't overcome the technical problems that exacerbated their inexperience/incompetence, then I would be OK with that and chalk this up to an honest loss. But these jokers never gave a true accounting of what they did with over a million dollars, and by choosing to put themselves through this assignment of debt (rather than bankruptcy, which would have subjected them to court procedures that forces them to give a detailed and accurate accounting of the money spent) continues their behavior of not giving full disclosure as to how our funds were (mis)used. This is what frustrates me most and is why we should still continue to hold their feet to the fire once the Trustee finished this assignment.
"Burns! " - nope, I did not receive a watch. Nor have any of my friends who also backed this project. These guys are scumbags for taking the money and running.
I concur with Johh Ahn. It is in all of our (backer) interests to not complete and submit the form. It may in fact do us more harm as the wording seems more like entering into a binding arbitration which typically puts the consumer at a disadvantage. We need to continue following up with the Illinois Attorney General's office and the FTC to get the satisfaction we deserve.
Did anyone else actually receive a watch? I did, but I've never seen anyone else comment that they have. I'd be curious as to how many they actually produced/shipped. Quite frankly, I was shocked when it showed up, as I thought (and still think) this was an elaborate fraud.
It's a shame for all serious crowdfunding projects, but it shows me the real face of Kickstarter and fellow sites.
Sad but I'm off for ever. More or less I've lost 3k on supported campaigns in the past few month/year and sadly to say 95% from US campaign owners.
I want say to CST team.
Shame on you!!!!!! >:(((((
VONDLE and HIS GOONS NEEDS TO GO TO JAIL!!
One word!!! B.S
Everyone has to keep one thing in mind: This is NOT Bankruptcy! This is a common law alternative in Illinois for a company to liquidate assets in an effort to pay off creditors. Unlike bankruptcy, at the conclusion of this process, any remaining debt IS NOT DISCHARGED. They will continue to bear legal responsibility to repay their debt. This process cannot force anyone to accept anything less than full repayment as a condition of participating in this distribution to creditors. This assignment of debt DOES NOT exempt CST from personal liability for willful misconduct or NEGLIGENCE!
So why would CST elect to use this process instead of regular bankruptcy? Well, they would have to give a full accounting of their financial records in a federal court under bankruptcy procedures. With this assignment of debt, they don't have to verify any info or do any kind of audit. All CST is saying to the Trustee is, "This is what we owe, now take possession of all our assets and sell it off for us". THERE IS NO INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION OR AUDITING! All CST is hoping to accomplish is to discourage backers/debtors from bringing any legal actions against them after this farcical liquidation is completed by making us think they have nothing left and this is the end of the road as to any legal/financial liability. CST is getting someone else to do the work of selling everything off and repaying debt at fractions of a penny on the dollar WITHOUT HAVING TO VERIFY OR DISCLOSE ANYTHING!
So where does this leave us? Well people, you can participate in this farce and submit your claims to the Trustee. But as you can see, CST is "reporting" that all they have is $30K in assets against almost $900K in liabilities. KS backers are behind in priority to any secured creditors, administrative expenses, and tax liabilities CST may have. Since they're only "reporting" $30K in assets, common sense should tell you THERE WILL BE NOTHING LEFT FOR KS BACKERS. At least this comical attempt to repay debtors shouldn't take too long, then we're basically back to where we are now. We can individually bring small claims actions against CST when we think any of them have gotten some money again, but that is obviously not a practical or efficient solution, especially if you are outside of Illinois. This brings us back to continuing to alert the Illinois AG and/or the FTC as to possible misconduct on the part of CST in wasting/misappropriating almost 2 million dollars once this Trustee completes this assignment of debt. Granted, any governmental agency might be less inclined to investigate after this assignment of debt, but its still the best option because the government is in the best position to have resources and punitive mechanisms to go after CST.
@Robert Russell agreed. Kickstarter need to rethink their terms of service. I have given up on crowd funding for now, at least until some better accountability is put in place.
It looks as if the Trustee wants to position us Kickstarter Backers as the last people to get any money. Welcome to Legal Limbo. There are laws to address creditor rights and consumer purchaser rights -- but it seems we gave CST money from the goodness of our hearts.
There's an easy way for all of us to deal with this: never give Kickstarter another penny until they change their terms with us and those we fund. Our rights should resemble those of Angel Investors, not foolish contributors. (Yes, I'll be waiting a very long time....)
@welshman the $10000 listed for parts is not the actual cost of the parts. It is a rough estimate of what the creditors would likely recoup from the sale of said parts. Basically, the company is being liquidated for legal reasons and we are highly unlikely to receive anything as pre-sales and investors will take priority over crowd-funding.
All Kickstarter do is to take 10% of whatever's raised. That is it. Kickstarters involvement is now finished.
Kickstarters 10% is there only aim & intention. If the money raised gets used to pay for a Ferrari so what. That's the chance you take on sites like Kickstarter. There's only one guarantee on Kickstarter & that is Kickstarter gets their 10%. Everything else is you hoping that the campaign creator is legit as are the product they're claiming to make & your hoping that what they tell you is the truth etc. Everything is in the campaign creators hands, including 90% of your money. What they do with it is the gamble you take.
Obviously this letter is an attempt to put this failed effort into the past at least legally for the creators of this project. A very disappointing conclusion.
Plan C = you lost your money. The end.
A great advert for giving Kickstarter a very wide berth.
Remember all the rubbish these people came out with about staying in vans for example as they had no money etc. Complete & utter rubbish. Someone or some persons have had a great time spending or doing whatever with the $1.8 million. No way was $10,000 of parts ever going to make the amount of watches needed to fulfil the pledges made. These people were magicians. Now you see $1.8million, now you don't!
Those are some suspiciously round numbers.
Just received an email from kickstarter. Attached is a letter from Commercial Recovery Associates that includes a Claim form. However, it also shows CST only has $30K in assets vs. $1.8M in liabilities. I'm guessing I will not be seeing any results from the claim.
Does anyone know what salary the 'founders' drew through the course of this development?
@Topher I'm from Canada too. I also received nothing from these liars (they promised so much, never produced anything final, and lied about shipping). I must say I've been fairly active in this comments section early on, but eventually gave up.
Unfortunately there is really nothing we could do. These cowards simply dropped the project and never even bothered to give us a closure (I mean, come on, just admit you've screwed up). I've filed a complaint at the FTC website posted in this comments section. I doubt there'll be any use but at least someone would read about the complaints. We just can't let these cowards get away like this.
nvm i misread it its just some knob writing an article
well apparently one person got a watch (published april 29 2016)...
Jerry O'Leary still advertises this watch design on his site - http://www.studiosurplus.com/
Plan C Jerry - I want my parts.
Are there any backers from Canada on this one? I'm curious to know what steps I might be able to take. I have, like many of you, never received so much as a thank you note from this project.
What are you doing now?
they can't even take a picture of these 1000s of parts which they supposedly paid for with our money.
Because of incompetence or because they don't exist?
Do you really think they have the parts?
With the complete absence of evidence, and refusal to provide any even after being asked, don't you think it could be more likely that they pocketed the money and never bought that many parts?
Looking forward to your opinion on this.