(Topic ID: 92436)

John Popadiuk update thread……MAGIC GIRL, RAZA, AIW…..


By iceman44

6 years ago



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#15251 5 years ago

John sounds like some lottery winner who had their winnings deposited into their bank and just spent it and all of a sudden it's zero.

#15252 5 years ago

I'm not defending Jpop's business practices, I'm just saying he obviously needed to draw a salary for 5 years, as would anybody who is not already a millionaire.

#15253 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Obviously, people need to draw a salary to pay for Health Insurance (at least in the USA), Rent, Auto, Food....
Amazon did not make any money for a dozen years, but I'm sure Jeff Beozs drew a salary.

Making money and cash flowing are two different things.

#15254 5 years ago

Like my grandfather always used to say:

"The best mechanic is not necessarily the best service station owner"

#15255 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

It's the law, you have to carry health insurance.
It's not like Obama is going to say "Hey, you are working full time on building a pinball machine? Sweet! Let me excuse you from our nation's health insurance laws...."

Need to get back to salary. Who imposed the limit on what his salary was? Did he decided what he thought his services were worth?

#15256 5 years ago

All his expenses food, shelter, insurance need to come out of his end of the deal. Nowhere in the contract does it state we are paying his salary and benefits. It's like I go buy a car, I could give two F-s about how the owner of the car dealer is paying his insurance, that's not my problem.

It's not in the contract, John providing a pin is literally the only thing we entered into a contract for.

#15257 5 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

Is his wife employed? If so - does her employer offer insurance?

Self-employed

#15258 5 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

This is one of the things has has me scratching my head.
John has lied to so many people on so many topics, and yet, many take his statement of "being broke" as somhow being truthful? Even though getting folks to believe this would be incredibly self-serving?

Part of the Pintasia thing was looking through his books, I assume Bill would not have put money into the deal if John had some left still.

Further, though John acts oddly, I am not sure how saying there is no money left is self serving. He is going to have to open his books for the court proceedings that seem inevitable at this point. Stating he has nothing left will result in the same thing, lie or fact, I am guessing.

Andrew

#15259 5 years ago

Probably not very smart of them to both be self employed. I know many people starting a new business will have the spouse keep or get a normal job so that there is some financial security for the household.

#15260 5 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

Need to get back to salary. Who imposed the limit on what his salary was?

You guys did.

If you did not give him a limit in the contract you signed, the sky was the limit.

#15261 5 years ago

I think we should start a pool on what John's salary was he paid himself. We will find out in discovery for sure now.

My guess is $125,000 annualized plus health insurance for he and his entire family. He also likely ran a ton of reimbursements through the company (my guess is lots and lots and lots of food and electronics).

#15262 5 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

Probably not very smart of them to both be self employed.

Again, you guys want him to start a company (95% of all new business fail within 3 years in the USA), design 3 pinball machines, AND be smart???

#15263 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You guys did.
If you did not give him a limit in the contract you signed, the sky was the limit.

You're wrong we didn't employ John. If a guy installs a garage door on your house you don't pay him a salary or pay his insurance. You pay a set price for a service/product.

I think you are confusing the issue, we didn't agree to pay for his insurance any more than if you buy a taco from a truck are we agreeing to pay a salary or insurance for the truck driver. We pay for a product or service. All the rest of that back end stuff is what John has to work out on his own.

24
#15265 5 years ago

What happened to RGP John?Screenshot_2015-06-14-15-14-39~2.jpg

#15266 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

According to John he stopped drawing a salary in Nov 14.
Whether that's true or not that's what he said.

I believe he would have to show clear proof of that. Just "saying so" doesn't make it so.

#15267 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Someone who shall remain anonymous who has John's ear told me something quite telling. John said "I've never made this much money from pinball in my life!". Just hearing that ...."made this much money" ...made my skin crawl. He thought it was his....not for the project. His.

That is mind blowing if it is even half true. It is fairly easy to make money if you just get a bunch of people to send it to you, then deliver jack squat in return.

Mind blown yet again...

#15268 5 years ago
Quoted from teekee:

Jeez, now its Obama's fault… although that is something I can agree with. He may be the only bigger loser than John Pop-a-dick.

Uh oh... gonna get a "warning shot" for that one!

#15269 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

You're wrong we didn't employ John. If a guy installs a garage door on your house you don't pay him a salary or pay his insurance. You pay a set price for a service/product.
I think you are confusing the issue, we didn't agree to pay for his insurance any more than if you buy a taco from a truck are we agreeing to pay a salary or insurance for the truck driver. We pay for a product or service. All the rest of that back end stuff is what John has to work out on his own.

You have a jumbled mess of ideas, so I can't follow your logic.

There is simply no way Jpop was going to work full time and not draw a salary.

That is the simple fact, regardless if everyone wishes it was not so.

#15270 5 years ago
Quoted from Ironhorse1:

What happened to RGP John?

toasted.jpg

#15271 5 years ago

For comparison I'd be curious to ask Jack G how much salary he took these past 4 years. I'm sure we can guess.

#15272 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Probably not a good time to start a pinball company then. Last time I checked it was something between $200-$600 per person to sign up for obamacare depending on coverage (still better than cobra, but only marginally).

I knew your healthcare systems were whack over there, but now you have an evil empire running an insurer? Cobra? Wow!

image.jpg

#15273 5 years ago
Quoted from Ironhorse1:

What happened to RGP John?Screenshot_2015-06-14-15-14-39~2.jpg

Holy crap batman

#15274 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

According to John he stopped drawing a salary in Nov 14.

At least we now know the date that the money ran out.

#15275 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

At least we now know the date that the money ran out.

I'd be curious how many people sent money in after then.

#15276 5 years ago

I don't even play a lawyer on TV, and I haven't read the contract, I'm sure the law suit will sort everything out.

But just from my "real world" perspective, there seems to be a lot of confusion over what exactly was going down here. You weren't hiring a garage door tech, or buying a taco.

You were crown funding a startup business.

And your reward for your (risky, non-insured) investment was the potential for a unique and limited edition pinball machine. One that might have been worth a lot of money frankly, and more than one person was counting on that. The next BBB etc. They hoped that a big risk would pay off with a big reward.

The company was utterly untested. It was run by someone with little experience outside of playing with pinball playfield designs. The number of games made no sense from an economic perspective when it comes to manufacturing. There were a lot of risks associated with your investment. There were plenty of voices advising you of such, that were ignored.

People plunged ahead anyways. I'm not saying your were dumb, or that John didn't lie to you, and mislead you. But you were taking a risk, eyes wide open, and there was always a chance you were going to get nothing from this.

And now we've come to the end, the company has failed (as so many do) and you're left holding the bag. John isn't going to jail. I'm sure you guys have enough breach of contract evidence to run a successful lawsuit on whatever assets are left. Beyond that there may not be much to it. It's not that easy to pierce the veil, corporations are set up for this very reason, to protect personal assets. John maybe screwed up enough that a sharp lawyer can do it. But don't count on it.

Hey, see the non lawyer part, maybe I'm wrong! But that's my educated guess, given what I know and understand. This might be something new for pinball, but it's hardly a new story when it comes to businesses like this. It's a very old one.

I don't mean to sound like a dick, or put anyone on the spot, or stomp on you while you're down. But I think these are the realities of the situation, and we should probably stick to them when it comes to setting expectations.

And we should all be learning from this. We knew one of these pre-order startups was going to fail. It just happened to be back to back. If people want to continue taking risks in the future, hey great, it's your money. We should all just remember what one of the outcomes can be.

-2
#15277 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

According to John he stopped drawing a salary in Nov 14.
Whether that's true or not that's what he said.

How much was this salary? How much of the pre-order money went toward this salary? That's money in the bank, and is proof that he's not broke. Any money that he took for salary needs to be refunded.

#15278 5 years ago

Just keep repeating this to yourself:

"95% of all new businesses fail within three years"

#15279 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Any money that he took for salary needs to be refunded.

#15280 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Any money that he took for salary needs to be refunded.

From where?

His landlord is not going to give his rent back.

Allstate is not going to give his car insurance premium back.

HAP is not going to give his health insurance premium back.

He can't give the food he ate back.

That money is spent, and gone.

#15281 5 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

There is money left. I will get some of it through a lawsuit. Others will get money that file lawsuits. There is a strong case for embezzlement, fraudulent transfer, and other criminal misdeeds. All of that will be pursued...every detail...until we find it. IMHO , given his track record, there is ZERO chance that there is no criminal activity. Criminal activity is all over these transactions at several stages.
If you really can't see taking people's money for one project and using it for something else as a crime I suggest you brush up on fraudulent transfer and embezzlement. Embezzlement is not hard to prove. Neither is fraudulent transfer in this case. I mean on the very face of things money used to build MG taken from RAZA and AIW depositors is fraudulent.
Some guys won't ever see the light and that's cool. Clearly, some here don't want anything bad to happen to john Popadiuk . Hate to break it to you fellas - you are wrong. Just watch
something bad IS going to happen to john Popadiuk . Call Zane if you have doubts

There is no money left and you will get nothing. But that doesn't equate to us being on Johns side. It just means there won't be any financial benefit you you suing. You will win. You deserve to win. There won't be anything to pay to you. As we have indicated before, John owes back taxes and court costs from a lawsuit will all come out of the top of a bankruptcy settlement. If theres assets worth anything they wil be sold at auction. Taxes and court get paid first. Then all the vendors he owes and he owes a ton. There won't be a dime going to you.

As for fraud and criminal activity. John took in preorder money for games. That doesn't mean the money sits in an escrow account and is only spent on the BOM of that one game. John owes you the game you paid for. But he is allowed to take salary from the income, pay vendors, programmers, artists, and basically develop the game.

John wasted a lot of money on things. Artwork for his shop walls, other games than he should have been working on. But those things don't have a lot of financial value. He could easily argue that as a designer, those things kept his creative juices flowing. Who knows. It's not hard to prove his intent was pure and his decisions were poor. I see it to be very easy to keep out of jail here.

No one said John will get away with this. I expect he will be broke and sell all his assets even perhaps his house. But you won't get anything from it. He owes too much and has too little. Bummer but it's the truth.

Feel free to sue. If is just a sign this petition to be included type suit, I think all owners would join. But if I have to pay anything at all I'm definitely out on it. I won't get it back.

19
#15282 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

You were crowd funding a startup business.

Disagree. He was selling a product. They were buying a product. He broke his contract and hasn't delivered the product. The "Jpop Experience" wasn't sold as a Kickstarter or a gamble. It was a product purchase.

Now, we both know that the economics never made sense and there was no way he was ever going to be able to build those products....but that's another part of the story.....the stupidity and/or fraudulent John part of the story.

#15283 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

From where?
His landlord is not going to give his rent back.
Allstate is not going to give his car insurance premium back.
HAP is not going to give his health insurance premium back.
He can't give the food he ate back.
That money is spent, and gone.

How do you know what he's spent? He could have been extracting an unrealistic amount as salary. It's John, the most delusional man in pinball....we must assume he's capable of doing something that dopey. It could be sitting in a savings account.

#15284 5 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

There is no money left and you will get nothing. But that doesn't equate to us being on Johns side. It just means there won't be any financial benefit you you suing. You will win. You deserve to win. There won't be anything to pay to you. As we have indicated before, John owes back taxes and court costs from a lawsuit will all come out of the top of a bankruptcy settlement. If theres assets worth anything they wil be sold at auction. Taxes and court get paid first. Then all the vendors he owes and he owes a ton. There won't be a dime going to you.
As for fraud and criminal activity. John took in preorder money for games. That doesn't mean the money sits in an escrow account and is only spent on the BOM of that one game. John owes you the game you paid for. But he is allowed to take salary from the income, pay vendors, programmers, artists, and basically develop the game.
John wasted a lot of money on things. Artwork for his shop walls, other games than he should have been working on. But those things don't have a lot of financial value. He could easily argue that as a designer, those things kept his creative juices flowing. Who knows. It's not hard to prove his intent was pure and his decisions were poor. I see it to be very easy to keep out of jail here.
No one said John will get away with this. I expect he will be broke and sell all his assets even perhaps his house. But you won't get anything from it. He owes too much and has too little. Bummer but it's the truth.
Feel free to sue. If is just a sign this petition to be included type suit, I think all owners would join. But if I have to pay anything at all I'm definitely out on it. I won't get it back.

I can agree with this.

However, the part about taking money in at the end when he knew that there was sot a chance in hell, that really stinks and to me seems like fraud.

#15285 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

It's not that easy to pierce the veil, corporations are set up for this very reason, to protect personal assets. John maybe screwed up enough that a sharp lawyer can do it. But don't count on it.
Hey, see the non lawyer part, maybe I'm wrong! But that's my educated guess, given what I know and understand. This might be something new for pinball, but it's hardly a new story when it comes to businesses like this

I would be very surprised if piercing the veil in this instance become difficult or problematic.

From what I have read in this thread, Popadiuk and his wife are in for quite a bit of pain and misery and it appears that will provide a great deal of satisfaction to many of the customers.

#15286 5 years ago
Quoted from Mike_J:

I would be very surprised if piercing the veil in this instance become difficult or problematic.
From what I have read in this thread, Popadiuk and his wife are in for quite a bit of pain and misery and it appears that will provide a great deal of satisfaction to many of the customers.

I'm no lawyer but it seems as if this is a closely held company and those closely held companies are the ones that are the easiest to pierce the veil (one person or a husband and wife) and they need to keep meticulous records to show that the money was spent on exactly what they were contracted to sell and need a lot of documentation to prove it was all done by the book which I don't think this was. I personally don't believe John paid income and Social Security taxes on all his 'income' it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

25
#15287 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I don't even play a lawyer on TV, and I haven't read the contract, I'm sure the law suit will sort everything out.
But just from my "real world" perspective, there seems to be a lot of confusion over what exactly was going down here. You weren't hiring a garage door tech, or buying a taco.
You were crown funding a startup business.

I presume you mean "crowd funding" (allowing for a typo...)

Which is wrong. None of these guys entered into a contract to crowd fund anything.

Zidware advertised a product for sale. Buy this Magic Girl pinball machine for $16,000. There will be only 16 made.

Zidware took money on the above terms, broke them (by selling more) and didn't deliver the product.

Absolutely no different to the aforementioned scenario of walking into a McDonalds, paying $3 for a burger and their oven breaks. They give you your $3 back and you go somewhere else for a burger.

I know what you are saying ... Effectively the first buyers were crowd funding. But that is not what they agreed to do. They agreed to purchase a pinball machine, and Zidware agreed to make them and deliver them.

<edit> rare beat me to it ...

rd.

#15288 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Disagree. He was selling a product. They were buying a product. He broke his contract and hasn't delivered the product. The "Jpop Experience" wasn't sold as a Kickstarter or a gamble. It was a product purchase.

I get that perspective. But it's just not what was happening. There was no product to buy. People were funding him to develop it. It was a terrible business model, but it is what it is.

Clearly there's a breach of contract here, people are going to be in the right on a lawsuit. I haven't a clue what they'll get, but I'm not suggesting people don't do it.

Quoted from Mike_J:

I would be very surprised if piercing the veil in this instance become difficult or problematic.

Outside my realm of experience, so I won't argue the point. I'm just saying, he set up a corporation, the payments were made to it, and he has plenty of evidence to suggest that he spent the money on what he said he would. He messed up badly, the business failed, and that's that. But it wasn't a scam, not in the traditional sense at least. The dumb sap is apparently still claiming he's gonna find a way to deliver games!

It's obvious to me that he's got some real problems, mentally. You look at the Magic Girl whitewood from 2013 and realize that he could have finished that game, but he chose not too. He was afraid to show it. He didn't know how to make the mechs work. He was afraid of actually starting manufacturing. He ran out of money and hid it. He just wanted to play in the tinkering arena forever, and started game 2 and 3 to do that. I have no idea what happened. Sue the guy.

I don't think pre-order is even dead. For better or for worse. But I sure hope no one ever pre-pays for a game they've never even seen again. You want to fund a WOOLY getting built, after playing the actual prototype with your own hands? Hey, go for it, that's not the worst idea ever. Spending $16k for a game you don't know a single thing about is just crazy though. Was a bad idea then, it's a bad idea now.

-3
#15289 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I'm no lawyer but it seems as if this is a closely held company and those closely held companies are the ones that are the easiest to pierce the veil (one person or a husband and wife) and they need to keep meticulous records to show that the money was spent on exactly what they were contracted to sell and need a lot of documentation to prove it was all done by the book which I don't think this was. I personally don't believe John paid income and Social Security taxes on all his 'income' it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I don't think he's saying you won't win -- he's saying you'll be in line behind the courts, lawyers, and vendors, and that there's zero chance a single penny will be left by the time your turn to get paid comes up. The money is spent.

-2
#15290 5 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

I presume you mean "crowd funding" (allowing for a typo...)

That's a good typo! King Jpop, ruler of the pinball world! You paid to let him prance around in his crown, telling everyone else trying to build a machine how shit their ideas were.

Quoted from rotordave:

I know what you are saying ... Effectively the first buyers were crowd funding. But that is not what they agreed to do. They agreed to purchase a pinball machine, and Zidware agreed to make them and deliver them.

Well this is where not reading the contract and not being a lawyer get me in over my head. So I'll not try and defend a position that I can't really speak to with enough certainty. But it's the effectively part I'm getting at. Whatever John promised, whatever he said, people were paying him to start up his dream. And he failed miserably.

It sucks. I wish people had gotten rad games. I wish it was so good that I was crazy jealous and couldn't wait to find one to play. I get no joy of out people suffering and losing money, or saying I told you so.

11
#15291 5 years ago

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter are very specific in their Terms of Use that project failure is a possibility. Here is a good quote from their site:

"When a project is successfully funded, the creator is responsible for completing the project and fulfilling each reward. Their fundamental obligation to backers is to finish all the work that was promised. Once a creator has done so, they’ve fulfilled their obligation to their backers. At the same time, backers must understand that Kickstarter is not a store. When you back a project, you’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised."

I've not seen JPop's contracts, but do they say anywhere in them that failure is a possibility? I'm guessing no. He never claimed to be crowd funded, so it's not fair to compare him to someone who is.

13
#15292 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I'm no lawyer but it seems as if this is a closely held company and those closely held companies are the ones that are the easiest to pierce the veil (one person or a husband and wife) and they need to keep meticulous records to show that the money was spent on exactly what they were contracted to sell and need a lot of documentation to prove it was all done by the book which I don't think this was. I personally don't believe John paid income and Social Security taxes on all his 'income' it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

John asked me on more than one occasion how much I had already paid to him for RAZA. If he didn't keep records on how much I paid him, he sure as hell doesn't have records of what he spent the money on.

#15293 5 years ago
#15294 5 years ago

It sure seems like before the company was headed for bankruptcy and we were trying to force Johns hand to provide timetables and open the books, buyers were clearly told on Pinside that we were not "investors". We purchased a product and had no say in his business or how he runs it.

Now that the company is bankrupt the story has changed to "you were investors in a failed startup".

#15295 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

John asked me on more than one occasion how much I had already paid to him for RAZA. If he didn't keep records on how much I paid him, he sure as hell doesn't have records of what he spent the money on.

OK, then what's in his bank account? That money doesn't belong to him now.

16
#15296 5 years ago

I'm not a lawyer so I'll just stfu.
More should do the same.

#15297 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Outside my realm of experience, so I won't argue the point. I'm just saying, he set up a corporation, the payments were made to it, and he has plenty of evidence to suggest that he spent the money on what he said he would. He messed up badly, the business failed, and that's that. But it wasn't a scam, not in the traditional sense at least. The dumb sap is apparently still claiming he's gonna find a way to deliver games!
It's obvious to me that he's got some real problems, mentally

I could be dead wrong, but I think when you follow the paper trail provided by the bank records and credit card statements they will show that plenty of the cash was spent on items that had nothing to do with the games which were purchased.

Did Popadiuk's customers agree to pay for the machinery or software used to create these games? I thought they simply agreed to buy a new pinball machine for $16,000.

#15298 5 years ago
Quoted from Mike_J:

I could be dead wrong, but I think

Basically sums up the entire thread…

Where's the money??? Anyone else want to guess? Not sure we've gone over this…

#15299 5 years ago
Quoted from Mike_J:

Did Popadiuk's customers agree to pay for the machinery or software used to create these games? I thought they simply agreed to buy a new pinball machine for $16,000.

I don't understand this line of thought. When you go to the grocery store, the markup on the product goes toward employee wages, rent on the building, cash registers, an administrative department, devices to order food, doors to the building, and tools to do the job better. Why would building a pinball machine be any different?

Was Jpop supposed to do this all with his bare hands and ingenuity?

22
#15300 5 years ago

I've written off the $20k, but am delighted to pay $500 - peanuts extra - to get justice. The more who sue the better, as it gives a bigger fund for e.g. forensic accountant to e.g. prove Zidware not correctly incorporated/accounts invalid so Jflop's personal assets can be accessed. Now is the time for Jflop victims to stand up to the plate and join the class action for $500. The next hearing is 18th June. Power in numbers, guys!

There is so much speculation in this thread. Inevitably and understandably so. But by going to court we can find out the truth, extracted under oath.

I don't want Jflop in jail, and think this would be unlikely (although if it happened, fine by me). Indeed, all I wanted was for him to be truthful and open with me. I probably tried > 30 times to get some basic, honest information from him. But he couldn't do this, because he lacks those integrities unfortunately, as proven by his lack of response. Sadly, Jflop has the spine of an amoeba.

I was also supportive of him until very recently, and one of the last to pull out. But I do want something- justice and truth. Maybe some money back, but that would just be a bonus at this point.

John (I know you are reading this from your profile metrics)- this all could have been so easily avoided. People are incredibly forgiving, but are not stupid, and you really have put people in an extreme situation, and taken the piss. I'm lucky with my financial situation, but others have probably truly suffered because of you. Shame on you...

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