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Not that it'll do a whole lot of good, but I just made a Kickscammed entry:
Yeha a scumbag like this you are only gonna get in contact with in you're life once.
I actually had a little debate with Kickstarter regarding him well they where searching for a way out but i got them trapped when i said what if i also gonna make a kickstarter and steal 52,000 dollars well i got no reply back after that figures ...
@Fred, Thank you for all your effort in finding out what options were left.
Ya @Fred my credit card company said I'm SOL. So that's a dead end. I know @Mark the only one I have had this happen either.
Such a waste! I've backed over a hundred projects and this is the only time I've ever been burned!
Fred, thanks for fighting the good fight. Looks like it's time to pack in the towel...
James, you can try, but, typically, credit card companies consider charges done and settled after a set amount of time (might be 180 days, but could be shorter). Since you can't pick and choose which charges you want to pay off with any credit card, companies consider this debt resolved and closed. Reopening a case this old with your charging company would probably be nigh impossible for the average citizen, particularly given the relatively small amount involved.
thegbf, Kickstarter doesn't care. That's the bottom line. They may reply with some pablum about trying to contact the project creator, but it's just smoke. They've collected their commission, so the campaign is over and done with as far as they're concerned. If you hear otherwise, I'll be beyond shocked.
What about going to our credit card companies and claiming fraud? Do you think it's too late to do so?
Even in Europe after 180 days of the payment there's very little you can do hiring a Attorney would almost cost as much and since kickstarter and amazon don't care and Andrew seems to have distenced himself from it ... what would you even want to do at this point .... altough i'm still gonna contact kickstarter myself to see what kind of reply thay woulf even give.
Carlos, unfortunately, we are all pretty-much FUBAR. Apart from filing cases with our respective Attorney Generals, there's not much else that can be done (at least, not legally). Kickstarter won't help and doesn't care. And I seriously doubt any private attorney will take the case since KCP has long been dissolved.
I'm still considering making a complaint with the Florida AG, but there's so much other crap going on in this state that's of higher priority and visibility that I just can't see it getting any traction.
European-based backers might have more recourse since their laws are far more consumer-friendly, but I wouldn't even get their hopes up at this point.
So, are we ever going to get this? Is there a way to complain directly at Kickstarter, or ask for my money back? Thanks!
This is exactly why crowdfunding desperately needs some level of accountability installed into the system and why idiotic terms like "donation" should be abandoned when discussing the nature of pledges.
Keep in mind that, not only has Andrew tarnished his own reputation, but he's also sullied KCP's name, too. Anyone with any knowledge of how this campaign soured will steer well clear of Andrew and anyone associated with KCP. This might also appear in Andrew's credit history should this incident hit the right reporting companies.
And there's still the possibility of some sort of legal pressure that might be applied. I'm still considering opening a filing with the Florida AG, even though I'm only personally out $57.
These "steal a little from a lot" sort of scams are difficult to pursue, particularly when potential claimants are from all over the world. It is a crime, though, as evidenced by the WA state case. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Xminus1 @ not gonna happen anymore ... i hope Andrew BURNS IN HELL i mean seriously !!! i could also use 50,000 dollars to fund my anime collection or to pay off part of a house !!! seems i also gotta make a kickstarter just make a stupid video and show nothing later on and then get away with it how nice that is !!!
Tim I feel the same way I either want the book drooped off by my door by the author himself or I want my money back !
This has left a crater in my wallet...and my heart. I was very excited for this. D:
In retrospect, $50,000 was probably well short of what was needed for a Graphitti Kingdom Come-like book to be produced, particularly for a 2,000 unit run, and particularly when the swag is included. The financing would probably need to be closer to $100,000. This was the first red flag.
I don't know what to say about the cels. It would seem a little strange to me for one non-rich person to've amassed such a collection just to give them away as part of a KS campaign. Probably another red flag.
The third red flag would undoubtedly be that piss poor pitch video. Smacks of someone looking to make a quick buck by spending next to nothing on a poorly lit talking head video.
I'd reckon the fourth red flag would've been the utter lack of spreads or mock-ups. Andrew didn't even provide a render of what the final book would look like, despite numerous requests for just one "proof of life" pic.
It's a shame backers have to become amateur detectives in order to steer clear of dubious campaigns. I'm a little surprised a company hasn't appeared to try to vet these projects before they go live. An "Approved By ..." seal would help weed out these shysters.
Yeah, the Channel 9 pass is definitely disappointing. I don't quite understand why they seemingly dropped the segment, though, as they said they had received other complaints, too, along with mine. Who knows?, though. Maybe I'll be watching the TV one random night and my ugly mug will appear onscreen in terrifying HD. Of course, that might be enough to give me an on-the-spot coronary.
Well, maybe I should start a kickstarter of my own. I could need 50,000$ and apparently there are no consequences. If you go into a bank and steal that ammount you could get shot on the spot but here no one even cares :D perfect crime
Haven't even checked here for some time, just now read that it all did not work out ... it is still to grazy to believe that they just ignored it after taking you seriously Fred ...
At this point i already had my head turned towards DMP the only thing remains we aren't going to be compesated when DMP is actually going to get to the Crater they are small company not like VIZ can't give away a 1000 copies or what not.
They told me they are already working on getting it even when it might take another year for that title to come up ... and Andrew promised us gold but a softcover release as plan B might have actually worked out with the kind of money that he got someone could have done it for him without actually doing much himself, but then again those animation cells that where never actually shown makes it even more shady.
@Fred Thank you so much for doing all that. To all of us that means the world man. You tried and that is huge.
As I said I'm in Canada so the FTC is something I cannot contact. Hopefully someone has or is in the process of doing so. Andrew needs to be held responsible for what he has done. He is scum.
@Fred Man, that is really too bad the story was not completed. Many local news organizations try to do consumer pieces, but typically they only air the pieces that get actual results and or effect the most local consumers. It's really nice to hear that someone listened and tried to help, but I am sure the story was pushed aside and they are now working on something else. It's too bad the reporter did not just admit they could not sell the story to their boss or that Andrew just ignored them, which kills any type of on-air solution to this problem.
DMP is continuing their successful Tezuka kickstarters, to which if "Clockwork Apple" and "Storm Fairy" are successful with non kickstarter supporters, ie DMP sells out of each print run, I believe we may see DMP trying to release Crater.
Well, guys and gals, I think my efforts have been for naught. I was holding off on letting this particular cat out of the bag, but I don't think it'll make much difference at this point.
Several months ago, I completed an online complaint form with Channel 9, which is our local ABC affiliate (WFTV). To my shock and delight, I was actually contacted by station staff. I was interviewed on camera at my house about this campaign and another Kickstarter drive whose project creator just vanished without fulfilling his obligations, though the primary focus was on Andrew/KCP. I was very animated and talked on camera for probably a good half-hour. We then discussed things further off-camera for another half-hour. I showed the guy that interviewed me the campaign page along with the pitch video, which was also filmed.
I was told that this story was being developed and would definitely run during an Action 9 segment. The person who interviewed me estimated it would take around three weeks before the segment was completed and ready for prime time.
Unfortunately, like I wrote, this was several months ago.
I did pass on Andrew's home address and telephone number, but I don't know if Channel 9 staff was able to make contact.
I've only had sporadic contact with the interviewer since then. My last email to the guy was about a week ago, but I've yet to see a response. I can only guess that the segment is either on indefinite hiatus or has been canceled altogether.
Sorry I don't have more positive news. I agree that the FTC and the Florida Attorney General should be contacted and reports filed, especially if there's evidence Andrew is using the money for non-Kickstarter activities.
@BSL I can't do anything with the FTC I live in Canada. I have contacted whoever I could but being in Canada there's nothing that can be done. The only thing I can think of is that he did say he was using a Canadian printing company if we could find old documentation on who he was going to go with I could try to get a hold of the printer to see if he even contacted them or had made any business arrangements?
Lots of good links in this story about that board game on their official site.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
More information is on the site.
@James - "But I agree I really hope the FTC goes after Andrew for his wrongdoing."
Someone needs to bring it to their attention, otherwise nothing will be done about it.
@ Andrew - Reading some of the older posts they mention he posted on Facebook vacations, and other such things (allegedly) using the money we paid him. So how much more evidence would we need for some one to look into it, let alone just doing screen caps of those things documenting what has happened and what he is posting publicly.
All depends if Fred or some of the other dedicated folks here gathered any of that up so it could be forwarded to the FTC to investigate and then move forward with charges. Stealing $50,000 is still a felony as far as I know.
The issue is that we'd need some kind of evidence that Andrew swindled the money, and unfortunately, a lack of product seemingly isn't enough. In the case they went after, there was more than enough probable cause to see that he was mishandling the funds. We'd need to find something similar here.
Mark I was literally going to post that, Lol. But I agree I really hope the FTC goes after Andrew for his wrongdoing.
Hopefully some legal action is possible for this nightmare of a Kickstarter project too!
I hate how this all turned out. Such a horrible person using our love of Tezuka to rob us. Anyway, kudos to those still fighting. Good luck.
I wish I could say more at this point, but I don't want to jinx anything.
How often does he update his FB page? It's rather stupefying that he keeps posting there despite his "wanted" status.
That would be amazing. Thank you Fred. IDK how you do it man but I can't thank you enough. I don't know why Andrew is such a puss he can't do an update himself and tell us what happened or what's going on? On his FB it clearly looks like he's enjoying himself and having fun with our money.
I'm still on the case, everyone. Sometimes, the gears turn slowly, but they are turning (at least, from what I understand).
I am pretty certain, though, that there is no possibility of refunds at this point. I just want everyone to be aware of that. I'm also doubtful that any sort of court action could be mounted by now.
Still, I DO have a glimmer of hope that, based on what I've been trying to do, we'll get some sort of public statement from Andrew or another KCP member about what happened with the book and funds raised via this campaign. Keep your fingers crossed!
@Tim I contacted ANN editorial team about trying to contact Andrew with no reply from them. They are not interested in helping us track him down or contact Tezuka Productions to find out any details.
Just to put this out there, in a 2013 article at the URL below, the anime web site Anime News Network said "ANN has confirmed this announcement with Tezuka Productions."
At this point it woudn't even be weird if he did not go through Tezuka Productions !!! Japanese companies are really skeptical and calculated if they the guy did not even have an actuall comany i almost can't see how they even aprroved perhaps because of DMP's kickstarkers they where to trustworthy but i seriously about it at this point ... by the way a last update saying that he failed is not even gonna cut it for me because it only would be if he payed up !!!
@Mary I think we need to maybe email him and see what's up. If he even checks it or replies. At this point I just want to know what happened? Like being left in the dark is worse then an update like "I was not prepared for this" or something of that nature.
He let the domain lapse. http://www.thekansaiclub.com/
@James oh I missed that comment! Good digging! I wonder if he even checks that e-mail
Just logged back in to KS after a long while.
I take it this project was a waste of money then?
And @Mary his friend did previously write on June 14th 2014:
"The bottom line is this: THE BOOK IS REAL. IT IS AUTHORIZED BY TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS. IT IS BEING PRINTED NOW AND YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR COPY. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Although I am not involved with the actual production of the book, I have observed Andrew working through each step of this very long process and would be happy to provide you with any additional information I can provide."
So IDK where this magical "printed" books went or he is just as full of it as Andrew is.
I find it funny that a "Friend" of his would have let him go on this long without giving us anything of an update. I work 48+ hrs a week plus OT and have time to do lots of things and that's giving myself 6 hrs of sleep a night. No excuse.
Well, Daniel Koosed (the friend that posted with background info) DOES seem to exist and he attended the University of Miami like Andrew, but I can't tell if they were the same years from Facebook.
I'm only on mobile and I can't figure out how to get to his Kickstarter profile.
Out of curiosity, what happened to the backer who claimed to be Andrew's friend, asking us to cut him some slack because of work commitments? I can't remember your name but it would be great to hear some insight from you.
Digital manga (DMP) actually sad this to me about them getting The Crater : @thegbf, @Martin Costello : We're actually considering The Crater as well, but may be a bit before we have a solid answer on that. Hikaru is currently looking at these titles for future projects (not in any order or confirmed) - Under the Air, Melody of Iron, Wonder 3, Shumari, Dove Fly Up to Heaven, The Euphrates Three, and Tezuka's Ancestor Dr. Ryoan.
Here we go at this point DMP is going to take it and you gonna have to pay twice for this because this isn't going anywhere i hope at the time they gonna do it Andrew drops dead !!!
After a year I just wanted to believe Andrew ran into a major hurdle that set the project back but there hasn't been an update for so long. He was supposedly going to give out 500 animation cels. Pretty alarming now that I think about it because it sound too good to be true. I'm also curious if he ever contacted Frederik Schodt or Ada Palmer in the first place.
Thank you for your continued efforts Fred.
And thanks for the suggestion Danielle. It may not do much, but I did punch that report button!
It probably won't do much but there's a Report button on the campaign page which sends a message to the integrity team at Kickstarter. If they get a lot of reports for this, it may help in some way. Or at least prevent this guy from ripping people off again in the future...
Dannie, just be aware that none of us will probably receive a refund from this. The best I can anticipate is a public shaming and POSSIBLY some manner of civil action (though that's a distant longshot). It'll all depend on where certain dominos fall.
Thank you Fred, please keep us all updated. I'm sure we all want restitution.