Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
No news :-(
There was a forum called ZionKick. It had profiles of most of the people involved with ZionEyez. Is that still around?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Jul 27 2015
Restitution for Washington backers, civil penalties
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced the successful conclusion of the first enforcement action in the nation against a crowdfunded project that didn’t follow through on its promise to backers.
King County Superior Court Commissioner Henry Judson ordered Edward J. Polchlopek III, otherwise known as Ed Nash, and his company, Altius Management, to pay $54,851 as a result of the 2012 “Asylum Playing Cards” Kickstarter campaign.
The court ordered a total of $668 in restitution for the 31 Washington state backers, $31,000 in civil penalties for violating the state Consumer Protection Act ($1,000 per violation), and $23,183 to cover the costs and fees involved in bringing the case.
“Washington state will not tolerate crowdfunding theft,” said Ferguson. “If you accept money from consumers, and don’t follow through on your obligations, my office will hold you accountable.”
Crowdfunding can be a positive way to secure financing for initiatives directly from a diverse pool of backers who generally provide small amounts of financial support. Crowdfunding campaigns have supported a broad range of initiatives from movie-making to high-tech gadgets to charitable giving.
In 2012, the Asylum Playing Cards campaign raised $25,146 from 810 backers, including 31 from Washington state. Polchlopek claimed his company would print and market a deck of cards and other items featuring artwork created by a Serbian artist.
Project backers were promised the playing cards and other rewards with an estimated delivery date of December 2012. The project was not completed and none of the backers received any of the promised items or any refunds. Additionally, the company has not communicated with its backers since July 2013.
The Attorney General’s Office filed its first-of-its-kind lawsuit April 30, 2014.
The AGO filed this lawsuit on behalf of Washington state consumers under the state Consumer Protection Act. Affected consumers from other states are encouraged to file a complaint with their state attorney general to seek restitution.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov
- See more at: http://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/ag-makes-crowdfunded-company-pay-shady-deal#sthash.mjCa6tL6.dpuf
I also found some information that the have received a patient for the technology they developed with the money they took from us, there has to be something there...here's the link to the patient.
http://goo.gl/8XsRkg -- 09/11/2015 -- Time to litigate folks.
Now that we have a precedent (read article at link above) it's time to start gathering everyone's info getting organized to we can pursue litigation. These guys will be on the hook for $343,415 plus interest and court penalties.
Fill out the TypeForm at the following URL if you want to get your money back + damages!
They're the ones who ran ZionEyes
Here are some of the guys we need to contact http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Joseph-Taylor/76537514 and the other https://www.linkedin.com/pub/matthew-krumholz/7/7bb/59…
Can we start a Kickstarter to get our money back? that would be priceless!
I just have to say if the money was somehow thrown away do to bad investment into the development over seas that's one thing, but if these guys spent on dime of the 343,415$ on themselves we will find out and get every cent plus interest, statue of limitations doesn't apply and all we have to do is follow the paper work. Everything is on file through Kickstarter, shits about to hit the fan.
Hmmm, this gives me some hope:
It is criminal - who are the people behind this and where in the world might they be? I wonder...
Any updates?? Anyone get refunded?? Did they get these guys??
Wow, they only needed 55K and received $343,415 and delivered nothing.
what a scam and Kickstarter should have refunded a high% of the funds minus the 55K captial loss.
Thanks for nothing you fucking thieves
To Curt Olski's link, does this mean backers from US can go after the scums of this scam via FTC.
because of this scam i will never fund anything on kickstarter ever again, refund our fucking money
kickstarter has a share in ZionEyez scam
I just wanted to update my address for shipping�
Where are our refunds?
Fuck .... my glasses?
send em to me asap - they have to be engineered and built by now
I hope you fucks are happy with your life.
Karma is a bitch and one day mother fucker it WILL kick you straight in the nut sack
Does anyone live near this pair of wank stains ?
so i would suggest filing a police report in your area. These guys are never going to give our money back, and police reports do show up on background checks and visa applications. If enough of us file police reports, these guys wont be able to get jobs in the future, or even travel to exotic foreign destinations, much like convicted felons...
Article brings up a good point: the crowdfunding bubble may burst soon over experiences like ours, and the growing number of incidents like this....
Now that you don't respond to messages here, and mail is undeliverable, how are we supposed to contact the creator of this unfinished project?
Email to zioneyez is no longer deliverable -- and they have not been responding to messages on kickstarter for over 2 years.
But kickstarter.com doesn't care. They skimmed their portion off this scam.
Where are our refunds? I don't think anyone can claim this project is not an abject failure with a straight face.
No updates in 2.5 years? Kickstarter, like the honey badger, don't care....
Are these ready yet?
I see kickstarter re-did their TOS to pretend to try and stop assholes like this from scamming people again.
Too little, too late.
I think what we all need to do is simply file a report with our local police for this one, naming all of the principals of this organization as claimants.
I'm glad these old kickstarters never come down, it's fun going through all the comments and lamenting the moments together.
The ZionEyes guys suck.
Where's my T-shirt? Does Zeyez need additional funding to print the t-shirts now too? Why not start another kickstarter?
I received the same form letters from the AG. I also received a response from "Kickstarter Legal". I'll go ahead and post the Kickstarter response because I think it's one of the few times Kickstarter has actually responded to any inquiries. Response follows:
From: Kickstarter Legal [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2014 4:58 PM
To: ATG MI CRC Complaint Processing
Subject: Attn: Sandra Hatcher Re: File # 447821
Dear Ms. Hatcher,
Thanks very much for forwarding this complaint to us. We hope this response helps you and Mr. Walker better understand how Kickstarter works.
Kickstarter is a platform where one party, the Creator, runs a campaign to raise money from other parties, the Backers, to fund a creative project. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers on Kickstarter have complete control over and responsibility for their projects. Kickstarter is a platform and a resource. Kickstarter is not involved in the development of the projects themselves.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any further questions.
For those of you who feel like you're getting a little tired of all this, I'd like to point out that we're just getting started. We had to sit back and give them plenty of time to fail. You'll notice that the B.S. from Brent Buroff (several posts below) is the first thing posted on these Kickstarter pages that is actually signed by a person. Of course, we had to post it but.... Up till now it's always been "The Team". That was an early on effort to escape culpability, to absolve themselves personally of any responsibility on their part for the failure to deliver as promised. They went into this thing knowing it was not going anywhere. One of the clues is the pathetic technical support they gave their engineering "department" AKA Joe Taylor. When they should have been at the point of packaging up glasses for delivery in December, Joe was showing off a pathetic piece or crap that couldn't even fold. No sign of software. If only the cops still had racket & bunco squads....they'd snap to what's going on in a flat second. The AG needs to be led like a blind man. But, of course, he's a lawyer, not a cop.
The article specifies that he was not a backer, but he pre-ordered through the web site.
Anybody here received a refund?:
It was posted on March 6, 2014.
It was mentioned on March 6 by Jeff Kang in the comments section here:
FYI, it's all I know, I received nothing and know nothing, I happen to come across Jeff Kang's comment just now.
This is not a consumer issue. It's a legal issue. It's fraud and conspiracy to defraud. We've been hanging on long enough to see what's going on. What's difficult is to get the AG's office to take a good look at it. I sent a load of info to the AG's office. He passed it along to the black hole. I think I'll try the Seattle PI. After all, they printed a glowing article about how Zioneyez was going to change the world. Maybe we can get them to update their report. The AG probably sees this as "Oh God! More work" whereas the newspaper may see it as "Hey! Here's an interesting story and most of the info has already been collected for us." STILL COMIN' ATCHA CARLOS!!! GET YOUR LIES STRAIGHT.
Yes, yes... I submitted my complain to AG about more than a yeah ago and got the very same answer.
ATTENTION! This is the AG's response, in full, which includes information directly from Zeyez:
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF WASHINGTON
Consumer Protection Division
800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000 Seattle, WA 98104 (206) 464-6686
May 22, 2014
1420 NW Gilman Blvd #2543
Issaquah, WA 98027
File #: 447767
Dear Chris Pirillo:
The Consumer Resource Center of the Attorney General’s Office has received the enclosed response from ZionEyez regarding the consumer complaint you filed with our office.
We realize you may not consider this response a satisfactory resolution to your complaint; however, the Consumer Resource Center does not have authority to impose resolution of the dispute on either party. Your complaint has been closed accordingly.
We regret that we are unable to provide further assistance to you regarding this complaint. If you would like to pursue the matter further, you may wish to contact a private attorney.
For attorney referrals in your area, you may call one of the following numbers:
Clark County: 360-695-0599
King County: 206-623-2551 or 211
Lewis County: 360-748-0430
Pierce County: 253-383-3432
Snohomish County: 425-388-3018
Spokane County: http://www.spokanebar.org/ (Telephone number not available)
Thurston County: http://thurstoncountybar.com/ (Telephone number not available)
If you cannot afford an attorney, and have a non-criminal legal problem, you may qualify for assistance from the NW Justice Project’s CLEAR Coordinated Legal Advice. They may be reached Toll Free at 1-888-201-1014 or online at the following website: http://www.nwjustice.org/about_njp/clear.html. In addition, if you are 60 or over, you may call CLEAR SENIOR at 1-888-387-7111 regardless of income.
We appreciate your bringing this matter to our attention. Your complaint will remain a part of our public record of this firm’s business practices.
SANDRA M. HATCHER
Program Specialist 3
Consumer Protection Division
Fax: (206) 389-2801
From: ZionEyez Info [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:07 AM
Subject: Re: 447767 : A notice from the Washington State Attorney General's Office
Initially when we started the "Eyez Glasses" project we received quotes from engineers and manufacturers that were far less than what was actually necessary to complete the project as we had detailed in our KickStarter Campaign. Because the project is such an innovative concept, engineering firms and manufacturers had nothing to compare it to at the time and misquoted the task of producing the product to our specifications.
After we received our Kickstarter funding we put that money towards engineering the glasses, and discovered that even though we had exceeded our fund raising goals, the money raised was only sufficient enough to create an inferior product. To create a fully functioning prototype of the Eyez glasses as specified and promoted would cost much more than we had anticipated and had raised through Kickstarter. Although we had initially explored the traditional financing route in hopes that we could create the product better and faster, as soon as we discovered that the project would require substantial additional funds, we more vigorously pursued this avenue. Conventional means of raising capital from Venture Capital firms and Angel investors is necessary to secure the remainder of the funding required to fulfill and complete the project.
Unfortunately, unlike the Kickstarter platform, traditional fundraising opportunities are incredibly difficult to obtain and even harder to close. Despite that, and because of the viability of our product and the experience of our team, we have had over 20 meetings with different potential investors ranging from well-known venture capital firms to billionaires looking for a new project to invest their money. We have received excellent feedback about our product, business model, and our team from every one of the investors we met with. We are currently in serious discussions with several investors who are prepared to invest in this endeavor but closing this type of financing takes a lot of time and effort.
The project cannot be completed without these additional engineering/manufacturing funds, so solidifying investment is our top priority at this time. At the same time, our engineers continue to work towards the creation of a fully working prototype. However, we are not currently in a position to make any promises regarding the shipment date, as we would rather wait until we are absolutely certain so as to not disappoint our Backers once again.
We understand that some of our Kickstarter Backers are disappointed about the delays and have reached out to us in search of further information. We are currently working on another update for our Kickstarter Backers that will offer more insight into our current investment pursuits and engineering efforts, but due to confidentiality agreements that are in place, we cannot yet post anything publicly about the specifics. We are still 100% vested in this project and we are working as hard as possible to turn this dream into a reality.
I got a response to my complaint from AG's office saying "...was reviewed and determined to be appropriate for the informal complaint resolution services offered by our Consumer Resource Center and has been assigned to me for processing."
Unfortunately, the complaint disappears when you send it and I didn't have the foresight to make a copy for future reference so I don't know how they determined this was suitable for "informal complaint". I suggest you make a copy of what you send them so you'll be able to refer to it in the future. It looks as though we'll have to view the AG's office as part of the enemy. However, I do have a file number to work with.
Note to Sean: Please let us know if you got a squirt of oil. They gave me a teaspoon of sand.
What the AG needs is poundage. My complaint is about 1/4 ounce. We need a stack of complaints that will weigh several pounds in order for them to get off their lazy duff and get to work. Any backers in the Washington state area, specifically Seattle or Olympia? A personal visit to the AG's office would be worth ten pounds of complaints.
That form took about 15 minutes to fill out and it took that long because I went in some detail. Apparently I didn't tell the story right though. I'll be following up. I hope all those who read this will go to that site (listed below in Chris Pirillo's post) and make a complaint. Complaining on this comment board does no good at all.
Went to AG's website and squeaked a bit.
It is my hope that all of you reading this will click in to the Attorney General's website and make out a complaint against these losers. Carlos doesn't mention a word of being the CEO of Zioneyez on his Linkedin page or in his latest CV on the current lawfirm's site he's now connected with. His current associates probably see this as a feather in his cap...pulling off the perfect crime. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
"The Washington state AG is now going after KickStarter deadbeats: " - Correction: "is... going after A KickStarter deadbeat".
We need to keep an eye on the Washington case, as it will be a landmark case. I have some reservations. I am a WA resident and I submitted a complaint for another WA-based Kickstarter project that failed to deliver. Their response was that if the creator doesn't respond, they close the case. Basically, if enough people in WA complain (and it sounds like 31 is enough), the AG will consider the case. I suspect that whether or not they try again will depend on how this one goes.
If we are lucky, this will scare Kickstarter a little, as well.
This will be interesting to see played out, as it is also happening in Washington State:
Done. I dropped a load on the AG's office. I encourage others to make their voice heard. Are you going to let these guys get away with an obvious scam? They spent the money having fun and fed us a bunch of BS straight down the line.