Quoted from johngravenews:
Err, why does it also have an age rating of 17?
Most likely liability.
It also says "Adult Collectible - Not a Toy." Probably a way to not have to comply with toy laws (materials, testing and so on).
Exactly why I dropped out. They wanted half the money back in May and not even so much as a picture of their build location, staff, etc coupled with months of zero communication, over a year late and every time it went to a show it was broken.
Y'all might one day get your predators but I just don't gamble when thousands of bucks are involved.
Talking up game 2 when game 1 hasn't been delivered is insulting to the folks who have been beyond patient. But on the plus side, if the people involved can't comprehend why that's a PR nightmare, then that's one more validation that getting out was the right call.
I don't think EOD is a terrible theme but not a great one either. I'm a Mythbusters fan but not sure a MB theme is a winner, and it sounds like it's called Experts of Dangerous due to license constraints, so that already raises the question of how much MB will be integrated, versus the "personalities" of the hosts only. Like, without the MB announcer doing call-outs, it would lose a lot.
Additionally, Mythbusters is on the decline since they fired Grant, Tory and Kari. Some people like the change since they're showing more footage of actual builds but the show lost a lot of personality, and personality is mainly what makes pop-science shows work outside of the typical PBS model.
Quoted from johngravenews:
Err what has Pinball News really got to do with this? As someone who has had the pleasure of knowing Martin for the last few years, I really can't think of anyone less likely to post anything defamatory about any individuals or companies. He's someone who genuinely loves playing pinball and writing about it. It's a great site that supports all sorts of developments within the scene.
Whilst there may well be a very interesting story that comes out of all of this I really can't see him routing through people's dustbins to uncover their guilty little secrets.
I have to second this. I've known Martin since 2009, wrote about a dozen articles for his site and saw him every year at PPE. IME his personality is such that if he runs into 'questionable' news, he exercises extreme discretion, particularly if it has nothing to do with him personally.
Let me suggest some easier and/or more plausible targets:
3) The ghost of Harry Williams
4) Python the reanimated zombie
Man, this ain't looking pretty. I got out way back in June. No pics of mfr facility at deposit time was a deal-breaker for me.
So who else got out and got refunded?
Quoted from YKpinballer:
I'm guessing there's not much chance of this until Kevin comes and tells people WHAT wheels are in motion. Hearing random people with god knows what connection to the project saying "don't worry, something's being done, it's being handled, great news is coming, blah blah blah" is about... oh... the past year or so of this project. It doesn't help.
Closer to two years. I know because I pulled out about a year ago and I recall several months of near non-existent communication prior. And then bang, out of nowhere, "We're ready to start production and we need money."
Of course, the arguments back then were, "Do you want them to build the game or post here on pinside?!"
Quoted from fastpinball:
I told him that he needed to get me a detailed breakdown of all the money. What was in paypal. What was in other accounts. What was spent on parts he got. What was spent on stuff he was waiting for. All of it. I said if someone was going to help him sort it out or "invest", he needed to do the BARE MINIMUM and get his stuff in order. He was going to get right on it! I asked Doug if he would help and he said he would.
But can you guess if that detailed break down of the money was ever produced??? NOPE.
This, sadly, indicates a strong likelihood that a large portion of the money is gone.
The actions of the 'anonymous' group don't sound selfish to me at all.
They thought the situation wasn't on the up and up, so they and theirs got out. At the time they got out, their fears probably amounted to conjecture and a sober evaluation of the situation, but not necessarily hard evidence. It's perfectly fine to act on your gut for your own sake. When you start advising others and potentially damaging a company, the burden of proof is higher and the consequences greater. You need absolute certainty.
Even when learning about the license, was there something they missed? Maybe spoke with the wrong person at Fox? It's an extremely damning allegation and not one that I, personally, would have made without being 100% certain.
Had they told you to "get out now!" and you did, what would you be saying if the project went forward successfully? You'd be crying that the "well-meaning idiots robbed me of my chance to own a Predator, and look, they're already being resold for 10k!" Cue the WAHHHHmbulance.
I got out last June because by then I started having strong doubts:
1. Very little communication in the year prior to asking for $3000.
2. No evidence of mfg facility or ability to mfg. (No staff, tools, facility, etc.)
3. Dragging the game to shows where it more often than not wasn't working.
4. Dragging the game to shows to promote it when it was already sold out (why?)
5. Excuses of not having time to reply to email or write status reports but time to take it to shows, build Duckhunt and revamp a website.
6. Later on: Excuses of not having time to reply to email or write status reports but time to design Experts of Dangerous and promote it.
Did I think the project was doomed then? Yeah, pretty much. I told my local pinball friends as such. Did I post on pinside shouting to the rooftops? Hell no. I had no smoking gun, and back then, nearly everyone was sunshine and lollipops about this project. I would have been branded a doomsayer who partially caused the project's demise.
TLDR: You got screwed by Kevin, no one else.
Quoted from lowepg:
And as part of the post-mortem on this fiasco, I'd hope pinside itself would set some basic standards before they tacitly endorse an individual who will primarily use pinside to raise $1m.
Setting them up with their own forum, listing them as a manufacturer, listing Predator as a real machine, etc, etc lends them credibility. Obviously here it was completely unfounded.
Do I think pinside should become the "license police"? No. But you'd think they could at least do a quick check to make sure the company they are allowing to advertise and use pinside to raise funds, is, you know, an actual company.
Not trying to heap undue blame on pinside, but there are lots of lessons to go around here, most for "investors", but perhaps some for pinside as well.
This is completely unrealistic. Your basic standard for credibility may not match mine, which may not match Bob's, which may not match Joe's, etc.
Additionally, when you engage in the activity of verifying businesses on any level, that is a much stronger endorsement, and that makes it even more likely of being named in a lawsuit when the SHTF. It just takes one extremely butthurt person who got screwed on a deal, and doesn't care who has to eat the loss so long as it isn't him, to make your life a living legal hell.
And why? Why would you put yourself in that position if you were running this site? Are you getting paid?
This is a site run by volunteers on donations with free entry open to anyone. There should be zero expectations on the part of users to expect or assume proactive activity by the site or other users to safeguard their well-being. It's great when it happens but it should never be assumed.
Quoted from zr11990:
I have a question. What made these people run to Fox and tattle that this guy was making these games? Why would they do this knowing the shit storm it would cause and that it would cause everyone to lose their game and money?
How did they "tattle"? If you have a license with Fox and I call up Fox and say, "Does this guy have a license?" They say "yeah, sure". I hang up the phone. You call it tattling because we know in hindsight they didn't have a license, but that was not known at the time for certain. They were protecting their own interests ($4750/pp) first and foremost.
That is what normal people do, particularly in the case of large sums of money. (This seems to be a thread where no matter how obvious something is, it needs to be stated, apparently)
Predator was scrubbed from Skit-B's site a long time ago, then months later after zero communication they claimed to be going into production and needed 3k minimum from everyone. Then there was literally no communication or updates for over six months after that.
The idea that if someone had just not "tattled" that everything would be great is silly. They showed no evidence they had the means to actually build the games (the original reason I got out). That was a major issue WAAAAAAY before this license issue came to light.
Quoted from pmWolf:
I hope you realize what an IMPOSSIBLE situation we were all in.
If we run to the masses and present the second (and third) hand forwarded anonymous emails as fact, and it turns out to be bogus....we killed a project for no reason.
If we do nothing, and it is true...that's a bad position, too.
Also, if we ran out with the information early and presented it as fact...it WOULD have killed the project, right then and there. We would have been blamed at that point....like, "why didn't you guys fact-check this?" and "how can you trust a bunch of anonymous guys? You don't even know who they are!"
Even now, I really can't judge if they had an agenda, or axe to grind. None of them came to us, that's for sure.
Exactly. There was no path the mods could have taken without looking bad (or worse, exposing themselves to potential litigation):
1) Pull the fire alarm > Everyone cries that they killed the project.
2) Don't pull the fire alarm > Everyone cries because they got screwed.
How about you all smell the smoke for yourselves and choose to exit the project when the red flags started appearing? I did. I don't look down on those who stayed in but if you did stay in, that was your choice. Expecting someone else to look out for you is frankly, naive. I always appreciate it when others do look out for me but I never assume it, or blame them for my loss.
Quoted from starfighter:
So now the moderators have no responsibility or accountability to members here
Moderators enforce the forum rules. Expecting them to do anything else is presumptuous and naive.
Particularly, ingratiating themselves for the purposes of 'consumer protection' in a business deal between individuals and Skit-B pinball that involves nearly $5000 per game is face-palm ridiculous. If you want someone to look out for you, get a lawyer.
Quoted from starfighter:
But that is exactly what they did when they contacted Kevin for a response. I'm only expressing my disappointment that they stopped between step one and step two.
Okay, you're disappointed.
As I continually pointed out, they have no obligation to your welfare. Maybe, instead of complaining they didn't do step 2 to your satisfaction, appreciate that they even bothered to do step 1.
Quoted from mcluvin:
Wow! I really do sympathize. It's been a nightmare and still is. Wouldn't it be worthwhile though to ask a couple questions, if not to protect the community, to save you mods all the grief that goes along with a bad vendor?
You want to build 250 pins huh? What's your federal tax ID? "I don't have one..."
Show me your right to use the IP. "Well, I can't, but I really do have it."
At this point, they can get the f out of here and come back when they do have those things. Congratz! You just saved yourselves and everyone else a bunch of grief.
Why don't you, as the consumer in defense of your own money, ask for those things if you're so concerned about them? Why do you think it is the job of volunteers on a free interweb site run on donations to do this for you?
Okay, I've beaten this horse fully to death, but wow, the level of entitlement of some people around here utterly floors me.
Quoted from mcluvin:
Did you read Blondetall's post? Did you read mine? Obviously not. Who the hell would want to deal with all that she described? Doing something simple with vendors at the start protects from a whole lot of pain later on for everyone including mods. I dare say just knowing there is some basic vetting process would scare any true scammers away.
Read. Think. Post.
You think there's some basic boilerplate that will filter out scammers, and that's tremendously naive.
Half the people who make customs or small runs of mods would be forced out. Or maybe they're in a special category not held to the same standards? But wait, mod maker X has made a hundred of those, are they now in the "big boy" category? Oh wait, all the Euros say vendor X screwed them but all the US customers are happy, and they have all the proper paperwork. Scam, or not?
Further, your burden of proof is not the same as mine. Wait, I already said all this in another post but you can't, or won't, get it. "How can Pinside tacitly endorse company X without a copy of their financials? They're drowning in debt, I tell ya!"
So I will leave you now in your world where the bad guys tick a check-box that says "I'm legit" and you get all warm and fuzzy inside that your money is safe.
Quoted from Sjsilver:
In his defense, it literally took the smartest man in the world to overcome such a system in idiocracy, and had he not, the world of 2505 would never have seen Not Sure escape from prison and go on to solve their crop crisis with toilet water and follow Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho as President of these great United States.
Quoted from DarkWizard:
I vote for calling it, an "oopsies"
I prefer to call it a "My bad, dawg! We cool, right?" (in a Justin Bieber voice.)
Quoted from mcluvin:
[snip weak rebuttals]
Cool, bro. I nominate you to do all this research. Get on it.
Wayne has a legit business, business license and a track record of supplying product. When refunds were requested they were given. Even after he took pre-order money he was still supplying parts and most said the service was reliable and timely. When the JJP Aussie distributor scam came along, he got involved on the side of the victims.
So... good vendor? Or scammer?
You just gave a perfect example of why this is a bad idea.
Quoted from Skins:
I'm just not sure what Nintendo hopes to gain by arguing the semantics of the word "scam". It comes off poorly. But hey, it's your rep. Carry on.
Mentally, it's very hard for some people to accept or admit they got scammed. Good old fashioned denial. Notice how he's also talking like the refunds are a guarantee?
"I didn't get scammed, I just didn't get my game. There's a huge difference. But I talked with them and it's all cool. Big misunderstanding. Outside forces, man. Naysayers. Non-believers. Industrial sabotage. Fluoride in the water supply. Bigfoot. Aliens. Tsunami. Global Warming. The check is in the mail. The dog ate my homework. Like real X-files shit in play, man." (Takes bong rip).
Quoted from LP30:
I know there is this big desire for a mea culpa from Kevin, but with the potential for litigation both from Fox and the potential of criminal charges, I would not expect him to do that in a public statement at this point. Get a lawyer, refund the money, get an agreement with Fox then spill the beans on how bad he screwed up, but good decisions have not been a hallmark of his operations.
I agree. With the very real possibility of litigation he may already be in touch with an attorney, and if so, and assuming that attorney doesn't happen to work for Skit, B, and Associates, that attorney has a bullhorn to Kevin's ear, shouting: STFU! You will likely hear the bare minimum in terms of apologies, and mostly it will be information about unwinding the remaining deposit money.
I also agree the latest demand of the anon group is over the top and bordering on silly. Kevin's rep is as trashed as it can get. You can run over a dead cat as many times as you like, but it don't get no deader. Threatening to "keep calling him a liar" and challenging him to "Prove them wrong" unfortunately does seem to validate some claims that they were more interested in winning the argument than in the welfare of fellow customers. Pinball players just in it for the drama? Well I never!
Quoted from rgb635:
I dont mean to be sarcastic at all but what happened with the Preditor machine? I was following the initial post maybe a year or two ago when the prototypes were being designed but then i didnt follow up since. Now i see all the conversation regarding money return attempts. WHAT HAPPENED????
You missed it, man.
The project is dead, but what a ride! When we ran into that cartel patrol I thought we were goners. Then there was that ancient temple with all the booby traps. Remember that island full of scantily clad beauties? Yeah, sucks they turned to all be dudes. I also feel bad about all those Meerkats we shaved. Why the heck did we do that? Oh right, that $5 dare to lick that glowing frog. Anyway, sucks we didn't get our Predators.
Quoted from Pinfidel:
This is said very nicely and from a sad tone really Pac. I know that may have sounded funny to you, but it really isn't. People are out thousands of dollars here. It's a real nightmare for some people and to give them that instant of excitement just isn't cool.
It's may be "too soon", but for some, a bit of levity helps.
This is not a matter of what Kevin said regarding refunds. It's about ensuring your place in line in the event of bankruptcy claims to get (likely) partial restitution. Hope for the best, but assume and plan for the worst, and attack the claim accordingly.
Quoted from PinChili:
It's a bit surreal to me that there isn't a lot more to the story that can and should be reported. This is the biggest story related to pinball I've heard in years. How can you report 1 day there appears to have been this massive fraud committed and then go silent? I highly doubt Kevin lawyered up immediately (I'm sure it took at least a few days for it to sink in for him) and I strongly suspect he communicated with Martin for a couple days after the initial article. I'm also confident that it should be possible to prove one way or another if he has gotten a lawyer. Report it!!! Also, I would think it should certainly be possible to provide an update on whether Fox has filed any litigation in the matter? Is there any reason to think criminal charges are being pursued? Perhaps Martin could have reached out to Aaron Klumpp for his own thoughts on this and provide an update on whether he is now embroiled in this mess as well. I'm sorry, but there is so much that could be reported on right now I'm shocked you don't think there is the need for an update.
Then get on it. I've submitted a dozen articles to PBN.
Go do the legwork, write it up, do the fact-checking and put your own name on the line.
Quoted from PinChili:
Facts: There is zero pending (or closed) litigation that has been filed in Michigan either against Skit-B (or SkitB) or even Kevin Kulek directly. None. Free search here:
The are zero federal cases opened (or closed) against Skit-B, SkitB, or Kevin Kulek. I signed up for a Pacer account and paid for the searches. Nothing.
So NO, Kevin is not currently being sued by anyone. If he has hired a lawyer it would be strictly for advice, not to defend himself against anything. <EDIT> Yet.
That means nothing has been filed. That does not mean no one is putting legal pressure on him. Fox telling him "We're going to sue you unless you do X and pay us X" is not a matter of public record.
I'm not a lawyer but this seems pretty open and shut for Fox. Going to court just means a lot of time and money to Kevin's lawyer to maybe lose a little less. It's in his best interest to settle with Fox if he can.
Quoted from Kcpinballfan:
Read above, what don't you understand? They weren't waiting on facts, they had facts from Fox. Fox told them there was no license so they helped Fox protect their license and stayed silent because the Fox lawyer asked them to. At that point they should have immediately broke news to us. Add to that the smugness and taunting really tells me all I need to know about it.
Are you out money on Predator?
The only thing I agree with you on is the smugness.
Had I been in their shoes I probably would have done exactly the same and gone through some sort of 3rd party to break it like they did with PBN. The reason is simple: if I'm wrong, for ANY reason (technicality, license info lost in giant multi-national company, lawyer just being a d***, etc) then now I potentially get sued for killing the project.
Here's the kicker: even if I'm *right* I can still get sued. That happens all the time to shut people up.
Now, why am I going to take on that risk for YOU? It's great you like pinball, but I'm not going to risk getting sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars because we have that in common, sorry. I'm not going to risk being the most hated guy on Pinside ever because I just killed a project run by this hard-working 'merican in ol' downtrodden Michigan just trying to share his love of pinball. They'll be writing country songs for him, and gangster rap for me. F that.
The signs of license trouble have been there for a long, long time. They acted on that evidence, you didn't.
Quoted from Sjsilver:
I know they don't negate one another. I just don't buy being upset because they investigated his claims and found out he was lying. I totally get being pissed at how they went about it. I also get that everyone is pissed at Kevin.
I don't think you totally get it. There seem to be quite a number of people who think the games would have been made if the AG didn't tip off Fox. They're still in denial, apparently, and not looking at the other factors you mentioned: the paper-thin margins, no evidence of ability to manufacture, and a prototype that fell over if you looked at it wrong.
And as a follow-on, apparently they don't care that Fox' IP would have been stolen, nor are they concerned with the possibility that Fox might come after them down the road as a result (which I agree, is pretty unlikely). Their reasoning is, "Okay, Kevin lied. So what? If everyone keeps their trap shut we all get our games."
So bottom line, since they have little or no concern with the theft of Fox IP, or that the game would have been 'unofficial', or that Kevin lied, they place a lot of the blame on the AG for the ending of the project. Under those circumstances, I can understand completely not wanting to reveal themselves.
There are just too many people out there looking for someone - anyone - to blame, and neither logic nor scruples are going to deprive them of it.
Quoted from Nibbles:
Add onto the list: The "Snowden's" knowingly had the smoking gun, but chose only to bless their inner-circle with that information, everyone else was still left in that burning building...
Kevin is fully to blame since he is literally human cancer, but at the same time, the way the Snowden's handled it as it pertains to all involved was a joke. Glad they all got out unscathed though.
Clearly, getting through to FOX was a major undertaking to even get a response according to the Snowden's, color me pink I can't believe everyone didn't do it...
Smoking gun or not, I already explained why just throwing the information out there could have blown up in their faces. You're mad because at the end of the day you have no machine and no money, and want to someone to pin it on. Had they just put the info out there, as you claim they should have, my guess is you'd be complaining that they didn't do enough homework before going public, and now the project is trashed, and how irresponsible blah blah blah... Any outcome that didn't benefit you personally would be the wrong move of the AG. That's really the bottom line here.
Quoted from Nibbles:
It's not about ending the project...
We agree on that. It's about finding someone to blame for a project that was circling the drain either way.
Quoted from Nibbles:
An individual (a Snowden) had gotten through to FOX. The FOX rep stated to the Snowden that there was no license agreement for the game to be made by Kevin and Skit-B. Being the unknown type that they are, they couldn't find a way to convey this information to the masses (by way of, I don't know, a wordpress webblog or something 'unknown-like') that stated exactly what they had just found out so other people in the burning building could immediately take steps to either confirm the information and bail, ignore it completely, or simply try to get a refund (which we know wouldn't come from Kevin), be ignored, and then still be able to file a chargeback with PayPal and get their funds back because that information could have been available within the 180 day chargeback period? Nah, give it to someone else to write an article that will come out innnnnn, ehh, it's coming out eventually.
They instead kept all of the truthful information to themselves and only let the inner-Snowden's circle know about the confirmed information. A point could be made that some were trolling a few members in the thread, and that should have been taken seriously as to the actual state of the build; but a trolling/condescending post won't garner anywhere near the attention or action when some anonymous person makes a claim that they talked to FOX directly and they stated that no license was in place - i.e. "check it out for yourself, here is the generic phone/email/whatever, confirm for yourself and decide if you still want to stay in on this project or file a chargeback through PayPal."
I've already addressed this twice now so I'm not going to re-word it yet again for someone who just refuses to get it.
So, the cliff notes version:
1) Nobody owes you anything. Get over it. This sense of entitlement from some of you is just mind boggling.
2) Of course they took care of their friends first. This is real life, man. Welcome to real life. That's what anyone would do.
3) You can talk about how risk-free going public with the info is when you are in their shoes and you go public right away. Have you ever been a whistle-blower? I have. Know what the company tried to do? Fire me. Here's the big secret: nobody wants to hear bad news, regardless of the truth. Go back before this stuff came to light and look at all the cheerleaders blindly defending this project. And now that the bad news is out, look at the finger-pointing going on.
Yes, people would have calmly, rationally verified the AG's finding themselves. Right. Definitely. 100%.
4) Perhaps the most important part: Nothing was stopping you from doing your own research. Don't blame people who did. Blame yourself. It was YOUR MONEY.
I evaluated the situation and got out a year ago. It was obvious they had no staff, no factory, no build-plan, and a game that couldn't make it through even one show. Pic after pic of Kevin at his computer AT A SHOW trying to get it running again. How amateur-hour can you get? And why are they going to shows if they're already sold out? And why are they no longer on pinside? Why is all the Predator stuff gone? Why'd they take down the videos? Everyone defending the lack of communication because they're "busy building our games!!" So why are they going to shows to promote an already sold-out game instead of building them? It didn't add up, and now they wanted 2750 of my money. HELLOOOO?!
Sorry, but to be blunt, and I do hope you get your money, the writing was on the wall a loooooonnnnngggg time ago. If you were expecting some anonymous pinball players to ride in guns blazing and protect you, you were expecting to much and extremely mistaken. The how, when, why, etc. of their actions are all immaterial. It was never their job to save you.
snip stuff I've answered too many times.
Quoted from Nibbles:
It's not their job, but for the "common good" seems fitting. I find it sad that people continually defer to a 'me' vs 'us', as opposed to watching out for others, whether it be a community or a small pinball group. But since we're making large generalizations, it's pretty much like watching your neighbors car getting broken into, but you don't call the cops, because "it was never your job to watch out for them, they should have been up all night, every night, keepin an eye on his shieet... Fug'em"
The common good is much more important than the me.
Once again appealing to the common good. It's easy to tell people what they "should" do when you're on the other side of the coin. How about if they're on the same side of the coin?
If the common good is so important to you, next time something like this comes around, appoint yourself the savior of all who need saving and do the research for the benefit of the flock.
In fact, a situation is going down right now: JPOP. And the stakes are higher since JPOP games were nearly double the price of Skit-B. A lot of people don't know what's going on, can't get refunds, no communication, missed deadlines. Sounds oddly familiar, doesn't it? Since you're so invested in the common good, go get the info. Go get them truth.
After all, it's the right thing to do, right? Everyone here on Pinside is your friend, right? You wouldn't let a friend just twist in the wind, I'm sure. Some are into Zidware for upwards of 25k. Surely the urgency is there. I'm sure you'll do your part for the common good.
Quoted from Nibbles:
LOL, damn bro you take this seriously don't you. Questioning the Snowden's gets you wound up, like really wound up - it's like I'm insulting.. you somehow, even though you weren't involved.
With the JPOP group, how many of them do you think are still within the 180 day window for charge backs?
Funny you play the "why so mad bro" card when I throw the ball back in your court.
But since you asked, yeah, it does sort of get my sense o' justice panties in a twist when the whistleblower gets attacked. As I already said, I've been a whistleblower and that's what happened to me. And just like the AG, taking reasonable steps to protect myself was attacked by people like you, who claimed all sorts of moral superiority and "common good" justifications when really they were just butt-hurt.
So, that out of the way: What does it matter if they're passed the charge back time? Are you saying doing the "right thing" for the "common good" only matters if it gives them that avenue? Most of the money was sent by check to JPOP. But your crack investigation could get them the info they need to go successfully sue JPOP open and shut, with minimal legal fees. Heck, you could even still do that for all the Predator folks still looking for relief who are past the charge back time. Go chase down Fox and get definitive proof (ideally an official document), for all your "pinball friends" and the "common good" of no license, so they can prove it in court and get in and get out in short order, with minimal time and cost.
You can still make a difference, and you clearly want to, so there are a couple of ideas of how you can.
Quoted from Kcpinballfan:
Ill ask again, what has JPop done that is illegal? Did he not have proper licensing? Did he give a delivery date and not deliver a machine? How long is too long to manufacture a product before someone can call foul? These are serious questions and much different than the fraud that Kevin planned.
If I recall correctly, he is about two years past the delivery dates in the contract and has not responded in a timely fashion to requests for refunds, supplied updates with regards to the delays (required by law, I believe), nor other requests for status updates. Those things combined could certainly be enough to file suit, and likely win.
Outright fraud? Did the AG know it was outright fraud when they began digging? It's so easy to claim the moral high ground with the benefit of hindsight. Well, who can deny the red flags in the case of JPOP? So are Nibbles and others digging "for the common good"? I tend to doubt it.
Quoted from badbilly27:
Hmmm...CA. Makes you want to go hmmm
You keep missing his pt and getting your thumbs up from the same people. LOL. Most are not pissed at AG for finding out. It's how they communicated. But then again, you know that and are deflecting.
I already addressed the timing and methods they used in several previous posts, and gave plausible explanations for each. Those were dismissed. Shrug. Logic may as well be farts in the wind to the pitchforks and torches crowd.
I then went on to challenge that if it was all so simple and straightforward, maybe those claiming as such should engage in their own investigations. I would say there's a better chance of Predator being released than that happening.
Unless new info comes to light, I'm done repeating the obvious.
Quoted from badbilly27:
And people addressed your timing comments back which you fail to acknowledge from what I've read.
And I addressed that by saying, "If it's so easy, simple, risk-free, straightforward, and "for the community" then I can expect you to investigate these matters as well and present your findings."
And the other guy's response to that was "Why you so mad bro?" which is a non-response.
Your response is to run back to, "It would have been so easy for them to say something!!", which, of course, is also a non-response. Also you've started implying I'm part of this AG group, likely in an effort to make me look bad, which is also a non-response.
Just like this whole Predator project, what you say and what you do don't add up. You say it would have been so easy and for the greater good to fling out the info, but when asked to take on such an "easy" task yourself, you dodge the question. And that reveals you don't honestly believe what you're saying.
Quoted from badbilly27:
Direct answer: Simple. I'm not the one that picked up the phone and called Fox. I felt something was wrong, voiced it (emphasize - voiced it) in the Predator thread and was fortunate to sell my spot months before any of this. I didn't need to take the extra step to call Fox, my gut said get out. Someone else did - good for them. Found out no license. (enter music) Theatrics ensues with "The decision" like choreography. Just as stated before, you witness a crime you report it. Period. No defense on this one my friend - black and white. As soon as they picked up the phone they became accountable.
Direct answer: Non-response? The response is - tell the community! I even wrote how they could have. But you're right, grown men are afraid of being honest??? Doh
Direct answer: I did not make the phone call to Fox. They did. They first hand heard no license. Sling it out there. It's called accountability. Again, great they found out. It's "how" they communicated and played the drama out. Just juvenile. 1+1=2 It adds up.
Now direct question for you: Are you in AG and/or do you you know who is? Again, makes you wanna go hmmm....
Lamest cop-out ever. So you didn't lift a finger in the first place so it's not your problem, but now you see fit to judge others who did. You smelled fire, sold out of your spot to save yourself, and then whistled past the graveyard all the way home with a blindfold on.
Got it. You sound like a great guy.
Quoted from badbilly27:
Your research reminds me of someone...on the tip of my tongue....it will come to me. Makes you want to go hmmm
Oh, hey Rob. Do a favor for the group. Answer the question Johnny Oh keeps deflecting away. Are you or anyone you know part of AG?
I haven't been deflecting it, I've been ignoring it. What is this? The House Un-American Activities Committee? Get real.
But ok, it's time to come clean. I am part of an organization. No, you've never heard of us. Yes, we control all of pinball.
John Borg wanted to stop putting stand-ups on the sides of every machine. We made him keep doing it.
Everyone knew Redemption tickets were a guaranteed hit but we squashed that.
Photoshop art? Yes, that was us too. We only let Dirty Donny do hand-drawn art after he joined us and relinquished his immortal soul.
We have a secret plan to slowly but surely train all the world's offspring to become left-handed, and then switch the plunger to the left side. Why? JUST BECAUSE!
We are: P.A.G.A.N.S. Pinballers Against Goodness And Normalcy.
See? Now THAT was a deflection.
Quoted from Kcpinballfan:
Sorry but this is out of line and absolutely untrue. I talked to him when he was getting out and he knew as much as me about what was going on and found someone to take his spot. He didn't find out it was a scam till well after he got out. What Bill has stated has been true.
I'm not questioning his truthiness, I am criticizing his moral posturing. He didn't do what the AG did, and he never will. He just sees fit to criticize.
I'm going to exit this thread stage left because I think I've done everything I wanted to do as it regards this whole Predator Fraud thing.
The main thing that initially upset me were the early accusations that PBN aka Martin Ayub were, in some part, responsible for this because of the so-called "timing". Those erroneous arguments were defeated and he's out of the conversation (thankfully). I have known Martin for several years, and have known him to be nothing but a stand-up guy and the paragon of reliable reporting in Pinball.
Yes, as I've mentioned a couple times, I've been a whistle blower, too, and I know the uncertainty, personal risk (both legal and professional) and potential backlash of being in that position. I went through it and saw my job put in jeopardy regardless that I was "the good guy". And that's also why I took a personal interest to defend the actions of those who did likewise with this Predator thing. Did it touch a nerve with your's truly? Yeah, maybe.
I don't disagree that their news was delivered with some smugness and self-righteousness, and that was a mistake on their part. Over-focusing on that was ignoring the bigger picture and shooting the messenger. I do believe they made the responsible move turning the info over to one of the most trusted names in Pinball for due-diligence, and I have no doubt that Martin did that. The unfortunate reality is that proving something which could likely end a company, affect livelihoods, affect supplier revenues and affect customers, with a responsible level of certainty, takes time. In that time, some may suffer. That's unfortunate, but that unavoidable circumstance does not override their responsibility to certainty. It's a fact of life.
I also challenged that if the criticizing parties were so invested, as they claim to be to the greater pinball good, they could initiate their own investigations of JPOP, which is a situation still unfolding but with a lot of red flags. Or they could do work toward acquiring some open-and-shut evidence for Predator folks to expedite legal proceedings. So far, that's been met with no response, and instead, witch-hunts for whether I or others are associated with the AG. So, to them, I say, if you're not willing to do the leg work but simultaneously take such moral high grounds, you're hypocrites.
The point has been made to the rational folks here, and the rest will never be convinced. So be it.
In the end, this Predator fiasco is a black eye for pinball and the effects will be felt for years. Pre-order pinball is definitely dead. Predator is dead. Pinball will go on, hopefully a little wiser for this lousy lesson.
Oof. Go to about 1:19:15. Kevin discusses the license for EoD, then they ask him about his experiences with the Predator licensing. Knowing what we do now, it's pretty clear he was lying straight through his teeth without skipping a beat. He discusses artwork that was rejected by Fox, and working with a contact at Fox on an ongoing basis.
At about 1:23:30 he talks about doing an unlicensed theme. He says that Skit-B might do an unlicensed theme once they've graduated from the mantle of 'boutique' maker to a real producer of games, but that an unlicensed theme at such an early stage would make it look like they were "just cheap and didn't want to pay for licensing."
At 1:24:30 he talks about working for several weeks to get the license for Long Tall Sally, and says it was one of the most expensive aspects of the machine.
He's a very convincing liar.
2012 interview for Spooky Pinball Podcast.
9:00 - Interview with Skit-b begins.
10:30 - Talks about the licensing. "It's all taken care of, it's all legit." "We have a couple close friends over there who are helping us out."
12:00 - talks about production details, production number, "Hopefully shipping games by the end of the summer.(2012)"
16:15 - Says he's "not exactly welcome back there" referring to his old job
20:45 - Hosts asks how he will pull off building 250 games. Kevin says he has friend and volunteers chomping at the bit to help. "There's like local intern-type kids who go to the college and want in on it."
22:30 - Talks about being a non-profit. "If we have a lot of money rolling through, we'll get lost in it, but if we're legally obligated to keep track of everything, and not spend anything, it helps a lot."
Quoted from Whysnow:
3- another email attached labeled Web Links where you put links to incriminating videos, podcasts, and websites. There will be lots of duplication but don't worry about that just do it.
Has anyone compiled #3 yet?
Yesterday, I posted references in two separate podcasts where he spoke positively of having a license. He also stated the company was a non-profit. I'm not sure if there are specific laws pertaining to claiming to be a non-profit or charity in the solicitation of goods, or if that would fall under general fraud.
"Game is officially licensed to carry the Predator brand and has a giant list of sound and voice clips cut from the movie itself. There is a vulgarity switch in the settings menu to turn off all swearing, if you have a family-friendly game room and aim to keep it that way."
"Production information: We expect the start producing our first handful of machines within the next month or two, meaning we SHOULD have a few people out there with Predators under their (gigantic) Christmas trees." (2012)
"The licensing and likeness costs and all that aren't really something we're allowed to talk much about, unfortunately. If you're wondering if certain characters will appear in the game / artwork, I can tell you that all of the notable characters are present in both.
I'm not exactly clear what you mean with the term "oversight." We haven't run into any qualms with anyone about how the characters are being portrayed or anything, if that's what you mean. I know there was a big hiccup with the Demolition Man over something like that with Wesley Snipes and they had to go through multiple backglass designs because of it, but we haven't had any issues with anything like that, so we're happy."
"This is the magic of being a small, non-profit company. Not only does it keep the games more affordable, everything we get goes right back into the company itself as a direct investment towards the next game. Sounds like a system that works, to me."
"When your game is about to go out onto the shop floor, you will be contacted in advance. You make your deposit and the game gets built. Once the game is done, you simply pay the remainder and get your game. If you need to opt out of your pre-order, you can just contact us before your game is coming up and let us know. Of course, your pre-order spot and number would go back up for grabs, as well."
(This was actually the reason I decided to gamble on this pre-order. Since I was far down the list, I figured I would see games coming off the line before I had to put any "real" money (i.e. $2750+) down.)
"Our company profile is set up that way on purpose. We are listed as a non-profit entertainment company, so any revenue that flows through our company needs to stay within our company. This means that every time a Predator goes out the door, we're that much closer to not only making another game, we're that much closer to getting our own fancy CNC machine, silk-screener, injection molder, etc. Whenever something else like that lands in-house, that's one less thing that has to be contracted out, and drives the cost of games down ever further."
Poeple have been burned in the past and I guess I'm just after as much reassurance as possible that this will actually happen.
"I wish I could say more, but I simply can't say anything other than the fact that we have legal right to use the Predator license for our purposes. I hate this legal crap just as much as anybody..."
does that mean no license is required or still is required?
"It's complicated It's not like one of those open-domain things, or something like that, if that's what you're asking."
"Playfield design and software is done by yours truly, Kevin W. Kulek.
Playfield artwork is done by James Dubay.
Assembly design and R&D is done by Aaron Klumpp.
All of our paperwork - both monetary and legal - is done by Kathy L. Kulek."
(Emphasis on MONETARY and LEGAL paperwork done by Kathy Kulek)
Non-profits, by definition, can absolutely NOT make a profit, that's why they're called non-profits. They can make "surplus revenue" which are the assets that must be reinvested into the company. And obviously they can take a salary.
"This is what it's all about, pretty much. We can take a salary, but it has to be documented and considered "reasonable" in comparison to the money flowing through the company, so while we will be able to survive, we won't be showing up to any shows with sexy foreign cars and slick suits or anything. My 15 year old American pickup truck and t-shirt-n-jeans will suit me just fine. For the people, by the people, I suppose... "
" As I said a second ago, we are very close to our release candidate, which, to a programmer or engineer, means damn near done. Now we just have to wait for the business end to catch up, along with legal stuffs in the interim. Art finished, art approvals, toys finalized, parts lists confirmed, suppliers stocked, the list goes on."
One question I was going to ask had I been able to go to the seminar was does Fox have an IP police/enforcer/oversight guy that you needs to sign off on things? Does the game have to go before some suits for review and approval or anything like that?
Also, I was going to ask what Kevin and Aaron did before this.
"Fox has access to everything they own, obviously, and they have a say over how it's all used. They generally don't care about much in the way it applies to pinball specifically, they just need to know that it's been unmodified and isn't being used way out of context. Likenesses are a little more touchy, but pretty much the same. In short, gameplay changes mean nothing to them, but art and sounds mean everything."
(2013-07-17) "For build timing, I can only assume here, but we expect initial units to be completed and shipping out BEFORE the Chicago expo this year"
(2013-08-26) "It's no secret that working with contractors to get parts made takes time and has holdups, but things are moving along quite well. We've gotten some stuff in recently that hasn't been shown/talked about yet that are extremely cool, like custom backbox lighting by CoinTaker lighting! The final game is coming together nicely, and no worries about a complete game this year."
Another fantastic gem.
Well our concept was making a small run of games, truly limited. like orange county choppers. not a manufacturing plant with deadlines deciding design. If we change something (ie: redraw art) and it takes another month, then that is what is **best** for the game. As these games will be here 25 years from now. Price, quality, speed...pick any 2?
Also we know all our customers by name and not just serial numbers. we care about their input, ideas and suggestions and frustrations. it's not about production numbers (or money) it's about making amazing pinball loading with inventive features....as the **standard** game. The UE or Ultimate Edition. So we do not make an LE with a skimped-out low cost model, but just **one** design (One Ring to Rule Them All) with as much crap as we can fit in (afford).
This is how I was taught how to design games at WMS and the only way I really want to work. I think it makes the best pinball for my fans and the community. Jpop
Kevin Kulek responds: "I generally try to stay out of threads like these (like the Predator VS ??? threads, etc), for fear that people won't want to voice their real opinions with a developer in the room, but damn, I gotta sound off and hand it to John for this post. Pay attention, folks. This is where pinball is headed, and is why it is on the rebound.
*Stats a slow clap*"
Quoted from 27dnast:
Watch Part 1 at 21:35.
This Kevin guy is stumbling and bumbling along about payments and about the availability of parts...almost sounds like he's just making stuff up as he's going along. At the minimum he is unsure of answers.
If you're going to run a business...and collect close to a $1 million from customers for a product, you need to have your house in order...you need to know specifics....I guess hindsight is always 20/20, but it is painfully obvious that this guy truly is just some dude trying to build a game in his basement.
Being naive and getting in over your head is one thing. He went WAY beyond that. He lied on several occasions about having a license. He lied several times about being a non-profit - even taking donations on his web page. Both of these were done to present an image of legitimacy and good-will, and to in-turn sell pre-order slots.
That crosses the line from the "oopsies" to fraud.
Quoted from playboywillis:
There's no way vid. I estimate about a quarter is gone. There's no way it's "all" gone.
It's hard to say, but things which are likely:
1) He's been living off the money for three years, with three kids.
2) He's been to a lot of shows (airplane, hotel, shipping the game, seminar swag)
3) He's purchased a decent amount of items from vendors
4) He may or may not have paid a salary to people involved with the project:Aaron K, the Artist, Kathy Kulek
5) He may have paid a lump sum to Fox to get them to go away (or is planning to).
And don't ignore that he was living a pseudo-rock star lifestyle for a couple years traveling to shows. I'd be surprised if there weren't a few steak dinners and strip clubs in the mix.
Quoted from belairjoe:
license or not this guy was not going to manufacture this machine.simple as that..another bullshitter with a big dream..no manufacturing experience...no sense in the least of how to do business..no clue or real plan just going week to week hoping all would turn out ok ...then the last mail....not even stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility fully for the out come of all this..this is a classic bull shit artist in all sense of the word..no punk rocker just another punk ass..license does not =finished machine.be thankfull this finally in the hands of FBI who don't care about how cool you are or hey wanna free glow stick..kevin will have to answer for all this now..his time has run out and all you people who paid just have to wait a bit longer for a real answer instead of this guessing if kevin spent the money ..
Quoted from playboywillis:
Money moves mountains
Entirely true, but if he had mountain-moving money he wouldn't be in a basement.
I realized this thing was likely not going to happen when it got to the 'come to jesus' step of actually building the things, but I admit, I didn't consider the license scenario. Now with everything coming out, I realize what a "duh" thing it was: A couple kids negotiated a license deal with Fox? Before any pre-order money changed hands? How'd they pay for it, for one? I should have given it more thought and wondered about that more, and most importantly, demanded proof.
Quoted from Darksoul:
Am I right in understanding that KK was still attending shows, promoting Predator, even after the 250 spots were taken?
Is there any suggestion that he may have sold more spots than machines? (>250).
If so, he may have actually taken money for more than 250 machines. Not a nice thought.
Correct. He was "promoting" Predator at shows for at least a year and maybe as much as two, even after all pre-orders were filled and there was a waiting list. I didn't hear any evidence that he over-sold past 250, however.
Quoted from playernumber4:
So you are going to be spending money on attorney's fees (and attempt to get a default judgement against Kevin which he will be ordered to pay if he does not show up) or you will attempt to get a brief hearing with the judge ruling in your favor. Kevin's defense will be that he is still making the game so he does not have to give you a refund. Your response will be that Kevin does not have a license to make the game, and therefore cannot legally complete it.
And now is when it gets really interesting! The judge will want to know all all he can about the legality of the licensing. Kevin will tell the judge that he will prove he has the licensing after the Sh
Dude, you watch WAY too much TV.
If the judge demands proof of the license Kevin will get a few days to produce it, maybe a week, or the judge will inform him he'll find for the plaintiff. Small claims is like the drive-thru, get in and get out.
The driver knew Trout was bound for
Midland City. He didn’t know Trout was
a writer on his way to an arts festival.
Trout understood that honest working
people had no use for the arts.
“Why would anybody in his right
mind go to Midland City?” the dri-
ver wanted to know. They were
riding along again.
“My sister is sick,” said Trout.
“Midland City is the asshole of the
Universe,” said the driver.
“I’ve often wondered where the
asshole was,” said Trout.
Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegutt
I have no idea why anyone would want photos of this, let alone "pro" photos that you actually pay money for.
If photos existed of my mother giving birth to me, I can't imagine that she would ever want to see them again. And I know FOR SURE that I would never, ever EVER want to see them. Like ever. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'd pay you several thousands of dollars to never see them.
Also on the list of things I never want to see:
1) My circumcision
2) My first prostate exam coming up in ~5 years
3) The explosive diarrhea I had after eating a giant plate of nachos w/jalapenos followed by a large bag of gummi bears (never do this, btw)
Quoted from Enaud:
But collecting is like getting blood from a turnip. I'll have to wait 21 days file more legal forms to have a discovery of property made. Then the court will force liquidation of assets. So, this time next year, we might get a resolution, if we're lucky.
If I can hook up with the detective I'm going to pursue a criminal arrest if I don't get a settlement.
If there's still money in the paypal account, that might be your best bet with a judgement in hand and the proper paperwork.
Quoted from Crash:
Yes, since Kevin's defense argues that they need more time to serve refunds so they can resume production. Resume production. That means that he is willing to continue production in the face of Fox's resistance. If you do end up contacting Fox, I would ask Enaud to provide evidence or a summary of the session minutes (if his attorney allows it).
The 'resume production' statement is likely a stall and I wouldn't put much faith in it. He can say he's trying to work it out with Fox. All he'd have to do is send emails or make an inquiry or two via his lawyer to 'prove' he's making an 'honest effort', even if he knows it will come to nothing.
Quoted from Kcpinballfan:
This case is dead in the water, I got confirmation from the agent from the FBI, apparently their findings was no crime has been committed. I again requested a refund from Kevin Kulek and will wait again for I'm sure no response. PayPal is a lost cause for me also. Apparently the bad guys win. Kevin Kulek if you read this refund my money even if it's a partial refund that is at least showing me you really aren't trying to get away with stealing my money. I'm exhausted by this and it has absolutely ruined pinball for me. I'm more upset at myself then anyone else at this point for being so naive. I guess the saying is true, a fool and his money will part. I'm the fool, good game Kevin.
That's too bad. Was there ever mention by the Detective or the FBI of the public statements Kevin made with regards to the licensing? I linked at least three: one in writing here (first post of the last major thread), a seminar video and a podcast. And I'd be surprised if there weren't others who have emails from him related to the licensing.
Quoted from CaryCarmichael:
Thank you Enaud! Your efforts have kept us well informed.
I sent an email back to the FBI Special Agent exclaiming exactly as you stated, that he took my/others' money under the false pretense he had the license to produce the Predator games. However, if I am understanding, the method in which he got me to send him money in itself isn't criminal. However, it would be a means of becoming a non-dischargeable debt in the even of a bankruptcy. Am I getting this correct?
I sent an email to Kevin's lawyer, copying the FBI Special Agent. As the Special Agent said in his email, all refunds have been given to those requested, I figured he could be copied on my co-orespondence asking for my refund (now for the 5th time).
Has it been mentioned, is there a way to take this to small claims court without visiting the [fine] state of Michigan?
Cary, you can file the paperwork from out of state but you have to show up on your court date, unfortunately.
I would if I could. Probably some cool museums in Detroit.
Actually, that whole city is sort of a like an apocalypse museum.
Quoted from Trekie:
This smells like the Jpoop thing.
Kevin screws everybody out there money and then some guy is going to give Kevin more money for his no-license game. The pre order guys get to throw money at a Predator game title. I am sure everyone would want a Pedator game around to remind them how Kevin Kulek screwed them out of their money. This title and theme are tainted forever in the pinball hobby.
If people would of been made whole, then something like that may had a chance.
IMO this has the same chance as a snowball in hell.
Quoted from fosaisu:
Here's the source:
Long story short, Kevin's still hinting (through his lawyer) that there might be a chance of securing the license and making games. Is he just blowing smoke as a further stall tactic or does he believe his own horsesh*t stories at this point? Hard to know, but who cares really? There's no way Fox would ever grant this clown a license at this point and he's made it abundantly clear that he lacked the ability to make games in these numbers even if he had a license.
My opinion is he's blowing smoke. If he makes a few documented token gestures to show he's "trying" to secure the license and "trying" to build games, it weakens the fraud allegation.
Likely this was a suggestion from his lawyer.
Quoted from Enaud:
That's what I want to confirm. Yes they are licensed/no they are not licensed/they are working on it. I think we all know what the answer is (no).
Not sure if they will even talk to me, but I'm going to try.
Just wanting to have that information that we've all needed for so long.
It's worth the old college try, but my guess is Fox isn't going to do anyone any favors. If it comes from (your) lawyer, then maybe.
Quoted from Crash:
I'm sure they will have no problem. I mean they released the information to the AG from the beginning saying there was no license.
Maybe, maybe not. The way I read the AG stuff is that Fox worked with them to get enough info on Skit-B to slap them down, i.e. the AG was doing legwork for Fox. That would have been the time for some quid pro quo and obtaining such as a letter as would now be desired.
Quoted from Skins:
Question: why hasn't Kevin had to answer that he never had the license and collected monies on a false premise. I don't see how that is getting glossed over.
Had a criminal attorney done legwork to document Kevin's activities, cited the specific laws and handed the result on a silver platter to the DA/Law enforcement, maybe things would be different. A complaint raised by regular folk that isn't a slam dunk just isn't going to get traction.
Quoted from YKpinballer:
None of that matters, he had no license and said he did, he even made up stories about working with Fox and going through the approval process for the artwork etc. on the Pinheadz podcast. He is a fraud and it's all documented. If he believed he could do this under something some shmoe said about fair use, that's what he would have to say when collecting money. Not "yes, we have a license with fox to make Predator pinball."
Correct. He was asked directly at one seminar how they managed to get the license and they went into quite a bit of detail about how they went about it. At one point, even stating something to the effect of, "We have some good friends" (implying connections). That seminar included Aaron Klumpp. They were bold-faced lies.
At the start of the last thread Kevin said, the game was "fully licensed".
Even with a claim of "fair use" that's a different thing from a license. When used as a selling point, the distinction becomes important.
As I said, had an attorney really done the legwork to document the timeline and claims, the local law enforcement and FBI might have given it different treatment. I'm not suggesting Predator pre-orderers are to blame for this, just one of the facts of life of the legal system.
Quoted from KeithinMI:
If any Predator buyer is interested in starting a class-action lawsuit in Michigan, I am a practicing attorney here in Michigan and would discuss the matter with you, at no charge for the initial consultation. Please feel free to private message me here, and I will give you my contact information.
I see MCPA violations, fraud, and several other counts that could be raised.
Here is a post where I found several instances of Kevin making what seem like fraudulent or misleading statements:
Quoted from Enaud:
At this stage do we require an attorney to act as a collection agency?
I think Kevin's attorney is already charged with this task (processing refunds to customers).
Did the court actually order his attorney to do this? From your accounting of the proceedings, the line the attorney gave the judge was that refunds would go out in 60-90 days. That statement of intent doesn't necessarily mean the attorney is under any sort of legal obligation, nor that pre-orderers have a "defacto" judgement. He may not even be Kevin's attorney in 2 months. He may have simply said that at that time to protect his client (Kevin) and buy him some time.
Quoted from Enaud:
I just find the offer for attorney representation at this time to be a bit offensive. Pardon me. The legal work to conclude that refunds are due is done. The issue now is refunds to customers, if in fact any money is even there. I don't like the idea of an attorney coming in and collecting fees at this juncture, for work that has already been concluded. Refunds are due. You can make reference to my small claims court ruling. The issue is getting refunds disbursed, not proving wrongdoing.
Make a call to Kevin's attorney and ask him yourself. You don't need someone to represent you to find out if his attorney plans to work on getting the refunds processed to you. You'll save yourself some money there if you do.
You can make an effort yourself instead of relying on others to do it for you.
(Sorry if that offends you. But, I've had enough of this idea of getting someone else to do the work for me.)
I wasn't offended just trying to get clarification on where things really stand.
Quoted from Whysnow:
Does anyone have the full time course of events and corresponding evidence compiled to show some of what transpired with this whole saga?
It would help greatly as I continue to compile stuff.
Shows that Preator was at?
Members of the SkitB team that were at each show?
Youtube videos where Kevin claims to have liscence?
Which emails or information make up the 'contract' any person paying a deposit had?
Archived portions of SkitB website?
I am assuming others have put some of this together and it would be helpful.
PLEASE PM me!
Quoted from KeithinMI:
Just an FYI. I checked the Michigan Department of Consumer Services (affectionately referred to as LARA [licensing and regulatory affairs]). There is no "SkitB" registered as a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or limited liability partnership. Additionally, as far as my research shows, there is not even a filing in the county where Kevin lives where he's registered SkitB Pinball as an assumed name of himself (or of anyone else).
I did some further digging (because I have friends in low places) [feeble attempt at humor], and there is no 501(c)(3) application in place for Kevin or SkitB Pinball at the IRS, as far as I've found.
I can't remember who, but someone also found out this was the case. That's why in that laundry list of quotes I posted I included statements he made about being a NP. I'm not sure if claiming to be a non-profit when selling something is fraud or not, but it sounds like it might be. Regardless, it means his personal assets are at stake.
What about Zidware/Jpop?
Quoted from playboywillis:
I submitted a claim that they said would be disputed due to my debit card having a 60 day policy.
Claim was refuted.
I sent a shit load of the evidence.
Switched to "information was received, investigating."
2 weeks later switched to "waiting on information from merchant. No action required by you" for more than a month.
Could you describe in detail "the shitload". I know of at least one guy personally who paid via bank transfer.
Quoted from NoahFentz:
Conveying what one believes to be true is not a lie.
Perhaps not, but as a business, people are going to expect a much higher standard than the hearsay of the typical forum user.
I guess the lesson is to never feel it's your responsibility as a third-party supplier to assuage the customers of a first-party vendor. It was always Kevin's responsibility to come here and defend his company, and the fact that he never did (he was silent for nearly 18 months) was one of the reasons I got out of Dodge. In fact, if you ever get that nagging feeling to do so, consider it a big red flag you might be in bed with the wrong person.
I do discuss Metallica a lot. With my friends. Down at the bar. Where we can PLAY it.
Seriously, though, as much drama and fallout as has occurred, I think it's because we're a community. As a community we discuss the good but we also discuss threats. There are obviously a cornucopia of other motivations as well, but I think that's the main one. Ultimately, we care about what is going in the industry and how it affects us and others like us.
Quoted from MagicMako:
I feel like blaming a vendor for not demanding proof of license is not as bad as 250 consumers paying for something without seeing proof of license.
Well, eventually they did. But to the backers' defense, I've listened to the early seminars and podcasts and Kevin Kulek and Aaron Klumpp were convincing enough in the face of questions about the license. They didn't seem rattled or caught off guard. Sadly, the ability to maintain composure like that while lying is a sign of someone who is good at it...
The resurgence of pinball combined with the rise of crowd-sourcing created a perfect storm for this. It's a lesson that pinball has to go through and I'm sure many niche hobbies like ours are going through as well.
Wow. So sorry to hear this latest. Talk about a Charlie Brown/Lucy/Football situation.
Well, there's always that lawyer who posted a few pages back.
Quoted from flynnibus:
Surprised? This is where people create new accounts to say things they won't say themselves... where people create multiple accounts because they've been banned multiple times... where people try to do things in PMs to hide their real mission... where people create anonymous webpages to post stuff they are too chicken @$% to post under their own name...
Trying to sneak into the clubhouse just seems par for the course.
Quoted from robertmee:
Again re read my post...nowhere did I say that pinside actively promoted skitb. I said they provided a forum to allow kevin to promote the game. And that's a TACIT promotion just by inclusion.
That is a common fallacy of proximity.
But as in most fallacies of this kind, there is a third explanation: there were a ton of posts (literally, thousands) about predator and it simply makes sense to categorize them in a sub-forum for easy reference and access. If you assumed the former and didn't consider the latter, and most importantly, didn't seek clarification, that's ultimately on you.
People assume stuff like this all the time. Someone happens to be seen in proximity to a celebrity, for example. "Look, here's a selfie I took at Jay-Z's private party!" They must be "somebody", right? Because how else would they get to hang with an important celebrity? Turns out he was just the guy delivering pizzas.
Quoted from sturner:
I also don't know why Paypal would let refunds go through if his account was that far in the negative. You'd think they'd want their money first.
I was wondering about that myself. Can anybody with a negative PP balance try refunding someone 25 cents and see if it goes through?
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