(Topic ID: 112377)

DP USA Refund - Still Want the Game


5 years ago

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#1005 5 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

One thing, and I may be wrong, but with all those deposits, and the end of the year, isnt that income, that gets reported to be taxed?
Sales tax?
I would not want that position.....

No. It is unearned revenue. They do not report that income until the product's title passes to the customer. It would be cash receipt and also a liability on the balance sheet until the games were complete and title passed to the customer. Then DP would move get rid of the liability and record the revenue.

Edit: this is of course assuming they are filing their returns on the accrual basis.

#1101 5 years ago

I cannot believe that Phil keeps speaking publically about this. Hire a good lawyer and go from there. Nothing good will ever come from all this public bashing of your current/former business partners.

#1116 5 years ago
Quoted from bemmett:

Speculating but there were likely agreements signed for their partnership at the beginning. I had a situation with removing a partner(same going from 3 of us to 2 of us) from my business awhile back and it wasn't just as easy as signing a form, transferring money and being done with it. We had to cover our butts on his liabilities and what if situations from past events ever came back. It was a good 1-2 month process to assure all our best interests were covered to make it a fair split for us all. Sometimes it isn't just black and white no matter how someone wants to say it is. The partner wanting out of course just wanted money and to move on but we as the owners had to assure things were done a certain way to protected our vested interest moving forward.

This is true. When you are to let a partner out of a partnership, it takes time. Most of the time, the company needs a valuation performed by a CVA in order to even get a good idea as to what the price of buying out the 3rd member could possibly be. Plus not to mention the complicated accounting issues that come to light with buying out a partner (there are multiple accounting treatments to choose from). Like the Dude said, "There are a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-yous"

#1129 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Doesn't sound like that's the issue here. Phil didn't want to be bought out, he was trying to give everything away. It's fine if you want to be careful about liabilities etc, but you don't leave someone who's bailed in charge of a company bank account if that's the kind of approach you have.
Seems the sticking point was finding someone to take over the US side. Phil makes it sound like someone Dutch could just get a TIN, but I dunno if it's really that simple. I have a TIN as part of my corporation, and it was easy to get, but I'm a US citizen. Does the same apply to someone from Holland?

Even if he just wanted to wash his hands of it, it still takes time and legal documents need to be signed. as for getting a TIN (I assumed this meant tax identification number), my international tax experience is limited, and I have only dealt with US citizens earning money in other countries, not the other way around. That is a good question though. I just took the point about finding someone to look after the US side as them trying to find someone they could trust to continue what Phil no longer wants to be a part of.

#1157 5 years ago
Quoted from zucot:

He should be commenting here and at the very least offering up a timeframe for everything to be addressed.

The only obligation that Barry has communication-wise is to the people who have made deposits to DP. That should only be handled by email communication to those people, or telephone calls. Not a post on a pinball website. If they want to make a blanket statement to the pinball community fine, but they only owe an explanation to the concerned current customers, not possible future customers. The possible future customers will make their decisions after the current customers report back here after hearing from DP.

#1181 5 years ago
Quoted from sturner:

Why would anyone be personally liable for that money? We don't take someone's personal assets away if the corporation they partially own fails (yes there are exceptions to that rule). And why would one partner be liable for the corporation's liabilities and the other two not?

Actually that is exactly what it means to be an owner of a corporation. If this was a LLC instead, that would mean that the partners are protected from using their personal assets to pay for the company liabilities.
They are all liable for 1/3 of the liabilities of the company. However, anything can be agreed upon. If the parties agree that the 2 remaining members will assume all the liabilities of the 3rd member, then that is okay. But right now, it seems that Phil is a 33.3% SH. that means he is entitled to 1/3 of the assets, liabilities, and equity of the company. If he is unable to pay those liabilities either with the assets or the equity he has in the company, he is personably liable.

#1197 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

This is not correct
When I get some time I will clarify how it works and how it could easily be resolved.

You are right if you are only talking about a C-Corp. S-Corps and LLCs protect personal assets. Assuming DP is one of a S-Corp or LLC, their personal assets are protected. A C-Corp is not a pass-through like the others and thus personal assets are fair game.

#1223 5 years ago
Quoted from Rick432:

Okay, thanks for that.
But InsertMedia would still be required to put the money BACK into the DP-BV and DP-US entities for the purposes of their products (to date, only TBL), right? One couldn't simply channel money from DP-BV/-US to InsertMedia without expecting some recompensation back into DP-BV/-US, right?

That's what an accounts payable is. By Insert Media booking that liability to DP, they owe DP that money. Just think of it as DP giving Insert Media a short term loan (less than one year).

#1235 5 years ago
Quoted from Nog:

Received an uninitiated refund and that first e-mail to the VIPs. This just hit my inbox as the 2nd official communication. Enjoy.
Dear VIPs,
We want to reach out to you about the current situation involving the rumours on Pinside. We are aware of the thread and the worries over Dutch Pinball and The Big Lebowski project. It really hurts us that you are involved in this situation, which is something that should be settled in a professional, business manner. Unfortunately, we had no control over our customers being involved and we regret what is happening now. We want to assure you that we are very busy handling this situation privately and in the best possible way without discrediting anyone. As soon as we can share more information publicly, we will do so.
We know there has also been some recent speculation regarding the status of our very exciting pinball project and want to assure everyone that everything is under control without any problems. To that end, we have brought in Roger Sharpe, acclaimed licensing and marketing expert, to help us as we continue with our final approval process. Roger has extensive experience having worked on all of the Williams and Bally pinball licensing for over 12 1/2 years and his personal relationships with all of the movie studios ensures that we are right on target to bring everyone the best possible pinball product. Our apologies for any concerns that had been raised but know we are still on course and will continue to meet our deadlines and promises.
Please keep in mind that we are the guys that brought three awesome prototypes to Expo in October and to Modern Pinball NYC last weekend. We wouldn't been doing that if we had any bad intentions or wanted to defraud anyone. The only reason this is happening now is because of something that shouldn't be discussed publicly.
Again, we want to make an awesome game - and with this going on, we are even more motivated to do so.
We will answer all of your emails in the next couple of days/weeks, but we first need to deal with this situation and keep our focus on getting you your games.
Team Dutch Pinball

This situation is of course unfortunate, but this is the proper way to handle the communication with the public IMO.

#1258 5 years ago
Quoted from foxtj24:

Makes me feel a little better, but they have not answered Phil's allegations yet. You think after everything said, they would have defended themselves against Phil's claims if they were not true.

that would be a horrible thing for them to do.

#1264 5 years ago
Quoted from aeonblack:

. I want answers, and they have given none, and it has cost them one creditor and customer.

When a company goes through something like this, the best course of action is to get it settled as quickly as possible. Not spend time publically responding to every allegation that comes down the pipe.

#1378 5 years ago
Quoted from JDee:

I wouldn't even buy at 1/10th.. No way I'm buying it at half.

Haha. I would take that deal in a second.

#1389 5 years ago
Quoted from lost8ball:

I think TBL will be made. The DP guys have a dream and have worked too hard to let it drop now. They have a solid product and just received a crash course in business perception management. I'd be surprised if I don't have one in my house in the future.

+100 this.

#1426 5 years ago
Quoted from wolftownjeff:

OK, shenanigans.
This whole thing no longer sounds believable to me.
One thing to out them. Another to keep releasing docs, after doc.
Some texts appear one sided, no response from the other party, just Phil gong on and on it seems with him self?
Phil appeared to be quite the salesman at Expo.,
DP silence is deafening and a huge problem for them.
I am, sure DP has been advised to say nothing.
A lot of damage has been done and I think its game over on this one..gonna to be in over seas court forever..
I would get any money back I could as fast as I could.

#1430 5 years ago
Quoted from golfingdad1:

I have read a lot of this thread, 20+ pages worth, but not all of it , nor do I have any scratch in the game but has anyone considered the possibility that DP actually produces enough machines to fulfill their pre order commitments and then closes up shop.
I would guess your game just doubled in value, and talk about a true LE !!!!

I hope this doesn't happen. I want to see multiple production runs of this game. I want to see it everywhere. If they can work things out, I think this will be a very popular game.

#1531 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Wow, a whole lot has transpired since I've been able to view the amazingness of this thread.
First thing, to clear it up for everybody, here is the difference with who is liable for what:
What DP USA should have is an LLC taxed as a partnership, they can share profits and losses disproportionately to their ownership %'s, certainly an enticement for any "new owner" coming on board.
With an LLC, depending on the state law, all you can get is what's called a "charging order" against the member's interest. What that means is that they don't get squat, other than a K-1 and the profits that go along with it, WITHOUT the cash to pay the taxes, thus, the best asset protection vehicle out there.
With a C corp or an S corp the creditor gets to step into the shoes of the shareholder and "take over" the operations of that ownership %, voting privileges, etc.
As for PERSONAL LIABILITY, there is no liability with any corporate entity from a personal standpoint UNLESS the creditor is able to pierce the corporate veil, no matter what type of entity it is.
You pierce the veil by the owners NOT following the corporate formalities, shareholder meetings, proper accounting practices, etc....
In a "partnership" the liabilities are "joint and several".
They should shut down DP USA, Inc., distribute the deposits back to the original depositors, file the articles of dissolution, get a certificate of good standing from the comptroller and it could be done tomorrow.
Then DP should set up a proper entity here in the US, as an LLC, with Roger or whomever as partner and move the fuck on. It's really not that F ing hard and can be done in a few days.
Give Phil a promissory note for what he's "out of pocket" and be done with it.
Next, before anybody dropped another DIME into this project, i would expect a "trust account" to be set up with monthly accounting and full disclosure to all the owners as to how the funds are being spent.
Make sense? Really simple yet transparency seems to be taboo with pinball.

This is not entirely true. But it meaningless because they never formed a legal entity in the US.

#1544 5 years ago
Quoted from Razorbak86:

Maybe Inc. is reporting on a cash basis?
Perhaps the December 2nd date on the two screenshots below is not purely a coincidence?

Tax Delinquency Notice 12-02-201... 13 KB

331945.png 23 KB

Probably. That would explain the notice maybe. I cannot tell without seeing the actual notice though. A lot of times, business will get notices for failure to file, not necessarily that they owe tax. But yes, if they filed under cash basis (ill-advised in this situation), they would have to do what is called an accrual to cash conversion for their tax return essentially resulting in them picking up all those deposits as income and paying tax on them.

#1545 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Collecting deposits on pins is not revenue, you receive cash and it goes to a liability account (i.o.u 1 pinball machine). When you ship the product to the customer, you then debit that liability account and credit revenue on the date that the product ships.
Buying materials to create pinball machines is also not an expense until the pinball machine is actually manufactured (the parts inventory is an asset, once you build the pin it is expensed by debiting cost of goods sold on the date the materials are put into a pinball machine).
So until the pins are being produced on the line and shipped to pre-order customers, you are just shifting assets around and therefore there are no net revenues to tax. DP's income statement right now would just be a bunch of overhead, promotion and travel expenses with no realized revenue.

See my previous post. For bookkeeping those deposits are not revenue, but for tax purposes they could be.

#1580 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

It's interesting to look back on the discussions about Phil's presentation at Expo and how some of us commented on what we thought was a lack of professionalism at that time, shown by his slamming of Gary Stern and the regular dropping of F bombs. Ironically some of the same people who defended the presentation as being perfectly professional at that time are now talking about how completely unprofessional Phil is.

I haven't heard anything about his presentation at EXPO until now. If I had attended that, I would not be surprised at all how he has handled his issues at DP. I don't think he could've gone about it any worse than he did.

#1596 5 years ago
Quoted from edmorex:

I got an email reply from DP (Barry). No hard answers yet other than they are working to resolve the issue and "An update will be sent soon."

This is SOP for any company going through something like this. They are not going to answer any questions in detail until the issue is resolved completely. That could take a while. It is unfortunate, but it's the way it is.

#1623 5 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

Just wondering how taking $100's of thousands of pre-order dollars from customers over a year in advance of delivery is not considered borrowing money for "stuff"?
Skit B did it... DP did it. Doesn't seem to be related to US vs Europe after all...

Because it constitutes prepaying for a product or service.

#1633 5 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

It's still debt no? It's being used to fund operations like any other outside capital, loan or otherwise.
If it were held in trust, and was earning untouched interest during the builds, I would agree with you; course then a simple PO and small deposit would be just as effective at securing an order on paper, but then there's no money to borrow from customers of course.

It goes onto the balance sheet as a liability, but it is not debt. It is also not treated as deposits say on a rental property IMO. In that case, if the tenant meets the terms of their rental agreement, those deposits get refunded. In this case, these "deposits" are for the production of their good. As long as DP meets the terms of their agreement with the customer, that money is staying with DP.

If it were different and they held the money in trust, I agree, that would just sit there and earn interest until the terms of the trust were fulfilled and the principal money is allowed to be withdrawn.

#1638 5 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

Yes debt implies it would need to be repaid/renewed at the conclusion of the current agreement. I shouldn't have used that term - my mistake. My first term 'borrowing' still stands
DP operations (to my understanding) are using some of this pre-order money to run the business, thus a 'run on the bank' (due to the 100% refundable agreement) could result in some liabilities to customers not being fulfilled. Again imo, if these funds were not 'borrowed' they would be in trust (as an asset?... I don't know about that part) waiting for either a) a machine to ship or b) a refund request.
I think you get my point (even if you disagree) so I'll stop making it now

No totally. I see your point. With how they have been accounting for, and using these deposits is not a good idea because it puts them at significant risk if they cannot deliver the product and they owe the money back to the customer. And considering in their entire history they have never delivered a product, that increases the risk even more, haha.

#1652 5 years ago
Quoted from Ruger:

If DP goes out of business, all secured creditors get a shot at remaining assets first, then secondary creditors, a few other entities such as employees pay checks, etc. and at the very end whatever is left might be sent back to people that pre-ordered as a refund. You have no standing and literally no shot at getting anything back if they go out of business. And forget about suing anyone, won't happen because there is no one to get money from since it is a business and liability stops there, it doesn't transfer to the owners since it is a corporation or LLC.

This depends, and it not always true. I will be posting something soon to hopefully put this to bed and help anyone on here who is deciding to start up a business try and decide which type of entity to create.

#1702 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

It's already put to bed, an LLC is the best option, period, unless you are going to be a publicly traded company which requires a C-corp. blockquote>

I agree that LLC is probably the best route most of the time, but that is not always the case. That is what I am trying to help with.

What about when owners don't want to be subject to SE tax? or when the owners want to have disproportionate stake in the company? Not as black and white is all I am saying. Depending on your individual situation, you might be better (or required) to start one entity over the other.

#1705 5 years ago

For anyone that wants to start a business. Keep this on file and discuss with your current or future CPA if you have any questions. This will give lots of good information on your different options side by side.


#1720 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Btw, if you own the company you pay the SE tax no matter what.
Good link though. Especially for tax deferral options. That's where you must choose wisely!

Yeah I mean I just wanted people to know when to ask questions mostly, not know all the answers. So many people just start businesses willy nilly, and don't think about the legal, accounting, or tax implications of their decisions.

#1791 5 years ago
Quoted from Nexyss:

I had never seen The Big Lebowski, and this thread made me decide to watch it last night. I made it about 2/3 through it, then had to sleep. I will try to finish it tonight and report back. So far, it has been mildly amusing.

After you finish it. Watch it 10 more times, then report back. You're out of you element until then.

#1868 5 years ago

Listening to the C2C podcast now. the first one. I totally agree with Nate. Nothing is Fucked here dude, nothing is Fucked. But seriously, when you have something this awesome, it is worth a lot of money. Even if there are a lot of people that get their money refunded, this will still happen and everyone will come back in droves and get this game. With something this big, I would be stunned if there were not outside silent investors in this project.

#1880 5 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

Whether Phil can just quit or not, he did. To leave him with access to people's money is irresponsible.

Totally agree. However, how do we know that DP didn't try to deny him access to the DP USA paypal account, and it proved difficult since that account was in Phil's email and Phil's SSN.

You would think they would know all the passwords and what not to be able to have access to it, but we also have noted that we believe they messed up other things that are business 101 already.

#1883 5 years ago
Quoted from goatdan:

If DP went belly up (and I'm NOT saying that they will) and couldn't refund the money, how would everyone feel?

Probably like shit. But that is the risk you are taking with making deposits to these types of companies that use crowdfunding to help with start up expenses.

#1890 5 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

Agreed. Phil very likely is denying access to the account. That is where DP euro needs to step up, whether through the courts and an injunction or mediation. In the end Phil exposed weaknesses in their corporate structure that need immediate rectification to instill trust. Before all this, the perception was DP had their shit together and were doing it the right way. That illusion is gone. The time is now to restore the faith they once had in the buying public.
**edit a post above me from Barry indicates Phil is withholding the passwords. Bully on him and bully on DP euro. If they were 1/3 partners in DP usa there is absolutely no reason everyone didn't have access to that account.**

haha. I just read that too. Looks like my inclination was spot on. I don't get that lucky often. I do think that message from DP should elevate some concerns. that, and Roger saying he is confident that his skills will get them the best licensing possible for the game.

If I had a deposit tied up in this game that I wanted back, my advice would be to just wait until the Phil situation is handled and the rest of DP gets access to those funds. Then I bet your refund request gets granted.

#1974 5 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Maybe other companies are doing the same thing and we just don't know about it?

In my experience, this is absolutely true.

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