Washington files first consumer protection lawsuit involving crowdfunding

kickstarter-campainTaylor Soper | geekwire | 5/1/2014 – If you raise money via Kickstarter and don’t deliver products you promised backers, the government will come after you.
In what is the first consumer protection lawsuit involving crowdfunding, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed a suit against Ed Nash and his Nashville, Tenn.-based company, Altius Management.
Back in October 2012, Nash raised $25,146 from 810 backers — including at least 31 from Washington — for a playing card game called Asylum designed by a Serbian artist and managed by Nash. The campaign exceeded its funding goal of $15,000, meaning Nash was legally responsible for sending every backer the products they paid for.
But as the estimated delivery date of December 2012 passed, customers never received their Asylum product. In the months following, angry backers voiced their frustration on the ongoing Kickstarter page comment thread.
“Almost a year and no updates,” one backer wrote. “Ed Nash is in hiding.”
“This IS pathetic,” another said. “Kickstarter dont care at all same as Ed he dont care he has his money.”
According to the lawsuit, both Nash and Altius have not communicated with the backers since July 2013. The Attorney General’s office is seeking restitution for consumers, as much as $2,000 per violation of the Consumer Protection Act in civil penalties, and money to cover the state’s costs and attorneys’ fees.
read more: http://www.geekwire.com/2014/attorney-general-asylum-playing-cards-crowdfunded-project/

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