(Topic ID: 108377)

The Official Pinside Kevin Kulek Skit-B Predator Discussion


By Xerico

4 years ago



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Topic index (key posts)

86 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #12066 What is PACER and where are you getting the court documents? Posted by c508 (2 years ago)

Post #12502 Links to where Kevin gives "his side of the story". Posted by BillySastard (2 years ago)

Post #12515 Updated court filings. Potential cash coming into bankruptcy estate. Posted by Wolfmarsh (2 years ago)

Post #12528 Good summation of 2 year look back and possible fraudulent transfers. Posted by flynnibus (2 years ago)

Post #12580 More legal pleadings. Posted by Wolfmarsh (2 years ago)

Post #12593 Facts & allegations document for VirtuaPin Posted by c508 (2 years ago)

Post #12801 Photos of Experts of Dangerous Posted by fastpinball (2 years ago)

Post #12872 Enaud's account of contacting fox regarding skit-b Posted by Enaud (2 years ago)

Post #13034 Description of an adversary proceeding (or AP) Posted by jasonp (2 years ago)

Post #13477 Discharge of debt denied by order Posted by Compy (2 years ago)

Post #13483 Stipulations for waiving chapter 7 discharge Posted by Compy (2 years ago)

Post #13528 Audio recording from Jan 27 court hearing regarding bankruptcy filing Posted by Wolfmarsh (2 years ago)

Post #13729 Summary of legal bankruptcy terminology Posted by Razorbak86 (2 years ago)


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#113 4 years ago
Quoted from Jared:

Is it really that simple to get a license for an iconic brand like Predator? Arnold Famously charged Farsight $60,000 to use his likeness in their digital version of T2 Pinball just last year. You can image that based on that the license for Predator would be extremely expensive.

A lot of it depends on what the original contract with the actor stipulated. Most did not care much about this until Star Wars, which really showed how much a licensing could be worth. Even still, most producers try to keep the rights for exactly this reason. I remember Carrie Fisher joking how George Lucas 'owns' her likeness, and that every morning when she looks in the mirror she has to send him twenty-five cents.

The rights of the actors can be very different for different movies. Same goes for using sound alikes for things. It was seem on TBL they had some lee way regarding that, at least for their promo video with 'the stranger', since that was not Sam Elliot. Based on comments at expo, clearly other actors had greater control.

One would assume that as Arnold becomes a bigger star, he had the clout to control this on his later movies. I would tend to think that the studios fight hard to keep the rights, so, I'm sure only "A list" actor ares able to negotiate to keep high levels of control.

Making a phone call on the back of a DVD probably did not get him the license, but it likely was the start of a bread crumb trail that then got him to the right person.

Keep in mind, the studio that distributes a film, is not always the one that has the licensing rights. There are also companies that manage licensing for a rights holder.

2 weeks later
#248 4 years ago
Quoted from badbilly27:

Update: Just sent another email to Skit B support tonight as I have still not received a reply (9 days running).

BTW, I've had the same experience with PPS, I've emailed them four times (twice to different two different email addresses they have used in communicating with me in the past), and have gotten no response, the first email was a few weeks ago. And yes, I know Rick has published his number someplace, which I will have to track down, but I would still expect emails to be responded within a week.

Obviously I am not saying skit-b not responding is okay, but he is not alone in slow communication.

1 week later
#381 4 years ago

If memory services, the game is using assets from the movie that you would not have if you didn't have the license (e.g. in a format that you could not to just rip out of the film). I'm pretty sure there are calls outs that don't have the original sound track and sound effects behind them.

I see no issue with Kevin not trying to appease those on pinside, that is a battle you can never win. I think all of the manufactures have found keeping it to a minimum, while not popular, is probably the best course of action.

However, I would like to see Skit-b be more responsive to emails around refunds. I don't know what the policy/agreement was at sign-up, so I don't know whether folks are entitled to refunds and at what time frame. Regardless, they did set up an email address, and while I don't expect them to respond immediately I do believe they should be responding within a few business days with at least an acknowledgment. Of course I am now going on 5 weeks waiting on a response from PPS (having sent four emails), so, take that for what it is worth.

1 week later
#567 4 years ago
Quoted from Razorbak86:

Charlie has more than proven that you can both build games and communicate with stakeholders at the same time. Amazingly, he seems to be physically healthy and in pretty good spirits, too.

Clearly Charlie has superhero type powers.

On a serious note, my favorite word for a long time has been 'balance'. When you think about it, it is the greatest challenge we all face. Finding balance in our lives between all of the demands placed on us (family, work, hobbies, health, etc.). We all have periods of time where things are in balance and all is right with the world, and there are those times when they are not. The more they are out of balance, the higher the stress level, which can then lead to being even more out of balance.

It would seem that Charlie has managed to maintain balance a good percentage of the time (I doubt he has always found balance over the last few years). It seems Kevin has fallen out of balance and is clearly trying to find it again, and I'm sure he will. I'm sure one of the reasons he avoids pinside a lot of the time is that it certainly won't help him find or maintain balance.

#569 4 years ago

Impressive, it was indeed The Karate Kid, where I first picked up on the concept of finding 'balance' in ones life.

#571 4 years ago
Quoted from Razorbak86:

I appreciate your thoughts about "balance", but in a business context, engaging with stakeholders (e.g., investors, actual customers, potential customers, vendors, and employees) helps ensure a better balance in life.

not sure of the need for the 'but', I think my point is you need to balance all of these things. Not just work vs personal, but in the case of a business, as you said, you have to balance the needs of customers, investors, etc. I think there is general agreement that Kevin and Skit-B are not in balance across all of these things right now. I do believe that Kevin recognizes that and is trying to find the balance, which is easier said then done, whether he succeeds, time will tell.

The more you have on your plate the tougher it is to balance it. He has a lot on his plate.

2 months later
#756 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Granted it would be aweful work and something I would never want to do full time, but I feel confident I coudl do it and it woudl get easier and faster over time.

Lets see how accurate your numbers are, how about you give it a try and report back.

First, take one of your games completely apart, an early 90s game (or even late 80s) would be a reasonably similar level of complexity . Remove every single thing from the playfield, and also disconnect all wires from sockets, solenoids, etc (this is not a playfield swap).

Now put it all back together!! Since your plan was doing 5 games at a time, and this would only be 1 you only get 1/5 of a day per day, so, I guess that actually means, you should be able to complete the entire week/game in a single day. And hey, not like you have to worry about dimples and drilling holes (and there are probably a ton of molex connectors and the like you don't have to deal with). In addition, I'll even cut you some slack and you don't have to re-trim and wire the cabinet. Heck, you don't even have to do QA -- although you may want to

I'm sure everyone wold like to see photos of the process, and since taking photos will slow you down, you can add in an extra hour of time for that, I'm feeling generous.

So, are you up to the challenge? Anyone else?

#787 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I can put an entire simple sys 11 game together in a single day and I have done it before. Even crazier is I did not design the game and only know where parts go from referencing photos and cheat sheets I make when taking it apart and cleaning.

If I am assembling a game that I already know it will take me even less time.

I am not sure how you do pf swaps, but I take is ALL apart when doing the full job. I do leave on switchs and sockets, but the whole harness come off and all coils are clipped.

Obviousy I was just having fun asking you to do it, but on a serious note . . .

When I do a swap, I do not cut lamp sockets, switches or coils off the wiring harness, unless I absolutely have to. Heck, I've done 80s games swaps and left he grounding braid intact (I do have a method that helps move everything over).

Having built two games from scratch, I will say, that I have do doubt I could assemble an entire playfield in a single day, I'm talking about the playfield, not the whole game, building a cabinet, wiring, adding power, speakers, trimming it, decals, etc takes longer then you would think). You do need a wiring harness that is complete and correct. In addition, helps if not all lamps have to be individually wired (e.g. at least some portion of them are using lamp boards). The slowest, most tedious part is all the wire stripping and soldering. it is also pretty important to do things in the right order, but that is pretty obvious to most folks here. I will say, it would require a singular focus and I would probably need to be straight and sober too, and lets face it, that would not be the norm.

1 week later
#999 4 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

Actually to be fair, we have no confirmation pre-ordering is yet dead...

Well, Wooly failed from the standpoint of not getting sufficient pre-orders to make the project a go. You can argue whether that was due to demand for the game and/or theme or a death to pre-ordering, but certainly a game that was pretty well received and complete and ready to go, that has failed. I know of at least one other project that was halted due to concerns over pre-ordering.

It is clear from this board, few if any are interested in pre-ordering EOD, and no doubt we have seen more and more folks take a wait and see with machines like TH, TBL, etc.

Maybe pre-order is not dead, but at least for boutique firms, it is certainly on it is deathbed. Maybe we will see that turn around down the road, but I would not bet on it.

1 week later
#1648 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

I was just thinking:
I feel bad for the poor bastard who hasn't logged on in a few days, sees 500 new posts in this thread and thinks "Damn, they must have shipped a machine" ... or at the very least, "there MUST be some actual new factual information"

That would be me Except it was a couple of weeks. Does sound like something has happened, but can't quite figure out what. But sort of sounds like whatever it is, it has not really happened yet. Be nice if there was a 'summary' type post every 100 posts or something like that, that could be flagged as such by a moderator (maybe something I should suggest to Robin).

#1651 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Here you go, the 30-second summary:

thank you very much, that was quite helpful.

#1851 4 years ago

I have had enough conversations with Kevin, in which enough details we discussed that it gives me a confidence he was licensed. Whether that license was allowing him to do things he did is a different question. It is certainly possible, given Kevin's experience level, that Kevin may not have fully understand what he could and could not do.

On a side note, it is certainly 100% clear he has he a license for EoD

A year ago I spoke with an old friend of mine who is a C-level guy at Fox, while our conversation was more about family and life stuff, I did ask him about licensing since I was curious about with all that was going on, and I know he has been involved in that for many years. I did not ask him about any specifics about Predator, since I had no reason to (although pretty sure I mentioned it during the conversation).

It was clear from that conversation that any licensing deals he signs off on have a limited timeframe. That is done for many reasons, including ensuring a license is not tied up too long for a particular product that may never make it to market. They also do it since they want to get better terms if a product has done well for a manufacturer who wants to keep using the license, where clearly the license has value to that manufacturer. In addition, they recognize in that case, that the R&D expense has now been recovered, and there is more room for them to get a bigger license fee from future sales (often the licenses have an increasing license fee at different production levels for the same reason).

Based on that conversation, it would seem to me that Kevin is now beyond that window of time, and likely needs to re-license to continue. This is purely conjecture on my part, based on what I know, I have not seen the contract, and as I said, I did not ask for specifics on Predator. I would tend to think that given where Kevin is with production, that they would be open to extending the license, since it seems clear he is ready to bring the product to market. I do have to wonder what impact this has on his negotiating position and the cost of the license.

As far as cost of production a prototype, having built a couple of custom games, I can tell you from a shear 'parts cost', you are looking at $5K if you were only using 'common' parts. However, his ramps are not common, so he likely had a significant cost (molds for the ramps are likely $5K or more). The cost to develop the artwork, engineer the playfield, software, etc if a far more significant cost. I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours writing software, creating art, coding dots, sound, etc. for each of my games, so I would estimate that even for a prototype, you are looking at $100K minimum to develop a playable prototype -- if you were actually paying people to do the work.

#1853 4 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Give this guy a call!

I don't plan to do that. If I had money down on Predator, that would be a different story, since I would have a legit reason to do so. However, since I don't have a legit need, I would not want to put a friend in a position where he would feel a need to share confidential information, which I would likely not be able to share regardless. I was trying to be careful even in that post, to not share things that have come up in conversations regarding other licenses, that could be considered confidential information and would be protected under a typical NDA (not saying I have an NDA, just saying that is how I view information shared in this way).

#1863 4 years ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

But Predator disappeared so long ago off the website that surely it doesn't take this long to re-license?

this may well get back to Kevin not understanding what he could and could not do. Possible he believed he could not longer use the assets and market, but that he was still clear to sell the number of machines he was licensed for. Again, not saying that is the case, but the first thing that comes to mind.

#1868 4 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

That would make some sense. Licence ran out....so cannot advertise in any way. But what does not make any sense is that the license should allow them to "show off" what they have done. Just like Stern can tell you about and show pictures or even video of every game they have ever made....even though those licenses are long dead.

Not to be insulting to Kevin, but Stern knows what they are doing and probably have things that they negotiate into their agreements based on past experience. They also have long established and ongoing relationships with many of the firms they are licensing from that I'm sure impacts the agreements. It is possible Kevin took things down due to not being sure what he could do, and/or was trying to keep a low profile.

#2058 4 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Jared said:
Even then you obviously thought that someone calling Fox could "get your pin shut down or taken away". That was never the truth. Your pin getting taken away is only one persons fault if that actually happens.

Not TOTALLY true! If the machines were just made and delivered, that would be that. If calls were made and the shit hit the fan, and that caused the project to stall or be shut down...that's another thing...

Well, if he delivered before something happened/happens with Fox, folks would have their games, and assuming Kevin was not acting legal (e.g. no license or in violation of it), then Kevin would be in hot water and would likely be sued by Fox, and skit-B (assuming it is a legal entity), would likely be wiped off the face of the planet. If it did play out that way, then I think most folks here would feel that would be an acceptable outcome.

1 week later
#2417 4 years ago
Quoted from guyincognito:

Could SkitB make it so that some future community member can replace DMD callouts (audio) with non-licensed ones, similar to how the "Pinball Browser" software works on Stern ROMs?
Any idea on how long all that would take? A month? Six months? A year?

Unless something has changed, the code is going to be open source, so anyone can change it. But the reality is for most of what folks would want to do, the code would not need to be touched, you would just need to replace the appropriate files to get the sounds and images you want.

I suspect it would not take long for there to be an 'alternative image/sound set' for the machine. Obviously that is not going to help resolve any artwork changes. Sound and voice call outs will be tricky, since you have to remove the sound effects, background music etc.

#2421 4 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

Did I miss something? You make it sound as if it is fact that they don't have some licenses that were shown in the prototype.

Not saying that at all. There is a lot of conjecture in this thread that may be the case, and I was responding to a post where the question was around if the theme is forced to be changed, could individuals replace the 'new' images/clips/sounds to restore it back.

Last I heard, there are over 250 audio clips and over 300 DMD animation components.

#2576 4 years ago
Quoted from nephasth:

While manufacturing these games here is certainly possible, it is most definitely not optimal.

Where is 'here'? Is that Michigan or the US.

Hard to see Stern touching this, not at 250 units. A lot of work for them to set up a line and just don't see there can be enough upside for them to do it. Obviously Chicago Coin is not an option, since they went to Stern to do MMr. Hard to see JJP doing it, they need to get their own machines out. You have to think Kevin had talked with them about it when he went to them with EoD, since it seemed odd then he would not have them do it. Maybe the terms sucked, but maybe now he has no choice. And while Spooky would likely be open to it, not sure that jives with the timeline he has thrown out there (and yes, I know half of you just spit up coffee in laughter).

What I find odd is that hard to see Fox, who clearly knows about licensing and pinball, would issue a license that was not clear as far a what could be done and the requirements for approvals. So, I wonder what license he got and/or from whom that would lead to 'not what we thought it was'. Wonder if the 'podcasts' and pinball news will shed light on this.

Quoted from nephasth:

In short, I've pretty much done everything wrong during this whole process

First step is acknowledging you have a problem. Second step is doing something about it. Lets see what the next few weeks show us regarding the latter.

Bottom line, not much anyone can do here but wait and see and look at the "scenery" that gets posted.

#2632 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I wonder if this game even has actual cad drawings.

I suspect he has a cad diagram of some sort for the playfield, since he was able to get those routed.

No one is going to build the game without money upfront -- given all that has happened. In addition, as others have pointed out, ALL the parts will need to be on hand before anything starts and that is going to require a lot of capital and hard to see too many people here giving him more money towards their games before they see games coming off the line -- sounds like a real catch-22 He is likely going to have to get a loan to get this done and that is not going to be easy.

Quoted from Aurich:

People have claimed Roger Sharpe is a friend of the family. So seems obvious who's he's being called in to help. I have no doubt Roger can secure a Predator license, who's better for that? But at this point does that even make any sense at all?

I have to wonder if that is really the case. If Roger is a close family friend, then how the hell would Kevin not have talked to Roger originally? At a minimum you would ask him to review the terms, etc. but would you not have had him negotiate for you? Plus, why would you even need a number off the back of a DVD, Roger would be able to point you in the right direction or make an introduction. Roger probably knows as much about licensing as anyone in the coin-op business and he would certainly know what things you need to negotiate into it, and what limitations in a license might make it unworkable.

The full story around the license, what he had, what he could do, why he thought he could do more, etc. is clearly a story that needs to be fully uncovered. Hopefully that will be the case when these podcasts and news story get published. If I was a buyer, I would certainly also want to know more about how these games are going to be made and where the money to do that is going to come from.

While I certainly believe Kevin is committed to making this happen and wants it so no one gets screwed, it is certainly getting harder and harder to see how he is going to accomplish that.

#2681 4 years ago
Quoted from Kcpinballfan:

Our money is as good as gone. I say to those of us that are requesting refunds that if the refunds arent given we should pool together to get legal help. This has become nothing more than a con.

Unfortunately if the money is truly all spent, legal help is not going to do anything but result in more lost money, even if you use a lawyer doing it on contingency and he recovers a percentage of the money back from Kevin, the lawyer will take a percentage and very little will get back to the buyers. For those involved, best case is that somehow Kevin figures out how to navigate through this.

To me the more interesting question is, if Kevin came back and said, "we have resolved the license (and here is the proof) and the game will be built by <insert valid manufacturer name here>, but will now cost $5995" -- what happens?

#2696 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Licensing is not some huge amount of money.
It can cost huge money to keep redoing artwork.....hiring legal help....going to court when you are not properly licensed, but the actual license cost is quite low.

not saying licensing is, and I also believe it to be significantly lower then what Ben suggested.

My point being is if those issues got resolved, and he needed higher price to make it happen, regardless if that money is for license, art, production or whatever, the question is, if it would now take more money to do it, but it seemed all the ducks were in a row what would happen? Would folks bail, pony up the extra money, etc.

#2705 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Even major blockbuster movies license for $25 a game.
How much do you think a B-movie that is 30 years old is going to license for?

Not sure the 'B' move is going to be less when it comes to pinball, and does not matter if Predator is a B title or not. The $25 number is by all accounts in the right ball park. Now typically there is going a minimum that is going to put the license cost at a $25K minimum, so at a lower number of machines the cost per machine would be higher. But the overall statement that it is not a huge sum of money is certainly correct.

#2718 4 years ago
Quoted from robertmee:

Those toy manufacturers have blanket IP licenses that allow them to produce toys over and over...One of the largest is these guys http://necaonline.com/category/licenses/movies/predator/
i'm wondering where the $25/game license fee comes from. Doing a little googling I found this http://www.harriersandheroes.ca/apps/blog/entries/show/6540948-update-to-firefly-licensing-quest
which seems to indicate that FOX IP licensing is much more than $25 per widget.

Go listen/read one of the roger sharpe interviews where he discusses licensing costs.

I've spoken with a c-level guy at fox and that $25 number is on target. Keep in mind most product licensing is a percentage of wholesale price (typically 10 to 15%), pinball however is an exception given the price/cost model

#2729 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Fox is not going to waste their time having contracts drawn up for $25 x 250 units ($6250). They've probably spent much more on their lawyers looking into this so far.

As I've indicated, typically there is something like a $25k min for those reasons. Fox does not license for pinball machines to make money, but to promote a brand, but they certainly won't do it to lose money

31
#5493 4 years ago

Been out of town and off line, and got clued in and I have to say this is just mind boggling.

I am somewhat in shock, even if the last couple of months seemed to be pointing towards this direction. While I believe Kevin was naive in some ways, thinking he could pull this off, meaning build a production machine in quantity and building a licensed machine and not get caught, etc. however, while he was naive in those ways, he was clearly acting in illegal ways and he certainly knew it.

Whether he could slip one past the goalie and not get caught is one thing, but it went beyond that since he out right lied about the license, loudly and publicly, and continued to do so, he collected money based on the lies and he also took friends on a ride that has now damaged their reputations and likely their businesses.

Since I was interested in pursuing a license I had a several long conversations with Kevin on licensing and building of machines, and in those conversations he gave me very specific details of what was in the alleged license agreement, including costs, restrictions and what he had paid. Most of the details matched up with license info I had gotten from an old friend who was C-level guy at Fox I was talking with (the subject of predator never came up, and I feel terrible that it didn't, since that may have brought this to attention sooner, although I am surprised that it did not come up when the Heighway guys were doing their license, which I know was completed and signed when I had this conversation, last spring). So, what Kevin was telling me sounded legit. I also saw an unsigned, agreement with the EoD guys, with a few things redacted, so that certainly provided further support to believe he had the license, especially when that was announced a Jamie was there with Kevin.

The fact that Kevin talked about the details shows he knew what the licensing requirements would entail, so any 'fair use' nonsense is just that nonsense.

Based on my conversations and the connection I established with Kevin, I had no reason to doubt his truthfulness, I even provided him help with getting the game running on a cubiboard single board computer he was looking at using for production. He sent me the board and the predator game code and I built the necessary system to get it up and running and tested.

I am sure Paul (virutapin), Aaron (Fast) and Matt (back alley), all believed Kevin had a legit license, just like I did as I"m sure the others who had those kind of conversations with him. I guess like any lie or con, the details are what make it believable. And while I believe Kevin had every intention of delivering Predator machines, that does not mean he was not conning people, he was and he was probably conning himself as well.

I think Aaron's bluster of late both in Predator and Jpop does mean he deserves a little bit of grief given his definitive statements and strong vocal support. Obviously he has an agenda for moving his business forward, and it certainly seems he ignored signs there was big trouble, in hopes that it would all work out and I'm sure he now feels like a schmuck for doing so. He has now learned in both Jpop and skit-B, that you need to be careful of who you get into bed with and you choose to support and that fixing broken situations is not easy. So, while Aaron does deserves some grief, he is certainly not at fault in this fiasco, and will certainly pay for what he has done in holding back info, by the damage it has done to his reputation.

Other then that one or two posts from Paul, I don't think he was a cheerleader in this and I don't recall much from Matt has far as being a campaigner so I really see those guys as victims, as much as the buyers, especially if they to end up losing money over this in addition to the damage to their reputations and businesses.

As far as whysnow, I can understand those who are angry at him feeling he was promoting the game heavily and came across as if he had inside knowledge. Clearly he didn't and I think he now sees how some of his posts would make it seem that way (certainly seemed to me he had inside knowledge), but everyone here is a big boy (or girl) and you make your own decisions, so, we all have to take these types of things and weigh them for ourselves, we all know he can't trust everything you read on the internet, let alone a forum. Plus, if you look at at lot of his posts, you know he talks more about shit then he knows. I'm sure he is feeling doubly screwed, both as an owner and the hit his reputation has taken. However, has obi-wan said, "who is the more foolish the fool, or the fool who follows him?"

While I totally respect what the anonymous group did as far them first getting their refunds before doing the deeper investigation (plenty of these guys and others were screaming 'there is no license' for quite a while and everyone had the option to at least ask for their refunds, even if of late they were not getting issued). I do not agree that they should have kept their info to themselves. They owed Fox nothing to keep their mouths shut, but as members of this community they should have shared what they knew, since it may have made it possible for more people to get their money back. I'm sure some would still not have listened but it may have helped others.

As far as others who had knowledge of late and held off thinking 'a deal could get done', well, they should have known better on that. It is nearly impossible to see how any other company would want to step in on this and take it over, and certainly there is no way it could be done at that price point, which anyone who has built a machine or even looked closely at it, knew there was little to no margin on this.

Bottom line, at the end of the day the only one to blame for this is Kevin, he took lots of people for a ride, no matter how much money gets distributed back out, if any, damage has been done to way too many people.

I don't think this is the end of boutique makers, it was inevitable that we would see failures, and most of the others all seem to be doing things open and legit. I do think this will discourage companies from tying and buyers from buying, so while it may not kill it, it certainly will result in a major setback from that aspect of the ecosystem.

It is still a great time for pinball, despite this black eye. I wish the best for all of those who have been hurt by this and hope for the best possible outcomes for each of you.

#5536 4 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

Another weird thing is the actual knowledge of the licensing process by Kevin (according to one of the subcontractors - check one of the posts above). Did he get it via EoD only, or was he in contact with someone at Fox??

I believe you are referencing my post, I would certainly not call myself a 'subcontractor' I am a p-roc game builder and I have provided help to many other game builders in addition to Kevin, including Scott and Frank on Wooly, Eric on CCC, Mocean and Nelly on Buffy, Matt on Deadpin, etc.

As far as licensing, when I spoke with Kevin the way he explained the license, and what he paid, etc. matched up with the typical terms in many of these types of agreements, as I have learned through my research. Whether he learned that from Fox or whether he learned that along the way from someone else, I do not know, but the details he described is what supported my belief he had the license. I will say that the EoD license is structured differently than what he described for Predator, so I don't believe that is when he gained that knowledge.

1 week later
#6471 4 years ago
Quoted from Kevgascan:

With a story on the local news, the community might want some answers and push the issue.

Doubt it would push the issue much, but may make some feel better about him getting publicly shamed in his hometown and it also lets someone here vent to someone not on the forum. Midland is part of the Tri-Cities (Saginaw and Bay City being the others), which are not very big (I lived in Saginaw for a year), but they do have local news stations and newspapers, who may well be looking for a more interesting story than announcing some guy getting promoted at work.

#6499 4 years ago
Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

As a business owner, I can tell you parting the red sea is easier then successfully winning a chargeback dispute.

I assume you mean as a business owner trying to fight a chargeback. I've been successful on a rare occasion. It amazes me how fast the burden of proof moves to the business once the CC decides their customer has a legit complaint. Really pisses me off if they do a chargeback and never call us with the issue and give us a chance to resolve it.

If Kevin was an ongoing business, he would need to fight these. You get too many and you can lose your ability to take credit cards, then again, he is relying on paypal, so he has no direct connection with a CC/Bank or merchant processor, other than PayPal, which has obviously shut him down. Kevin would have had a hard time getting a regular merchant account give the nature of the business. Only a few companies take on high risk accounts like that, and typically the percentage/fees are significantly higher.

#6654 4 years ago

There are three sides to every story. At this point we have heard AGs side, and I still want to hear Kevin's side, and then the third side of the story is the truth, and sits somewhere in between, and hopefully Martin can get us all closer to that truth, but I doubt we will ever really know the whole truth.

Certainly based on the info we do have, including info from Kevin, there seems little to no doubt that Kevin has committed fraud and ultimately he will need to pay the consequences for that. However, I find calling him a scumbag, as some have done to be a little over the top. I don't think Kevin set out to rip people off. I think he thought he could pull this off and obviously that was pretty dumb and naive and I have to think some of those close to him, knew that and they also should be held accountable, since they did nothing to stop it (and I would still like to hear from his original partner Aaron as well, and if the partnership broke up over the licensing issue and he chose to just move on and not go public, then I have an issue with that -- I am not saying that is the case, but that is part of the story we would all like to know).

Lets be honest, had he shipped games on time, he might have pulled this off, but I still believe, since he wanted Skit-B to be an ongoing concern, at some point it would have caught up with him. So, did Kevin defraud 250 or so people, certainly seems so, is Kevin stupid and naive thinking he could pull this off and not get caught, absolutely. However, as I said, I want to hear his side of the story, obviously with his track record on communication and truthfulness, anything he says would have to be taken with three tons of salt, but I'd still like to hear it and I still like to see Martin dig deeper to get us closer to the truth, although I don't think we will ever really know the whole story and the whole truth.

I believe Kevin and Martin have indicated we would be hearing more on this, and getting Kevin's side. Hopefully we will hear that soon, since this continues to drag on far longer then it should and that is clearly not fair to those who have forked over hard earned money.

Of course most important is that everyone gets their money back. I would estimate that Kevin has spent less than $150K, possibly less than 100K so to get the prototype built, purchasing parts he now has on hand (which can be sold off), traveling to shows, etc. That is certainly not an outrageous amount for him to borrow from friends, family, etc. in order to be able to pay back all the money he has collected.

#6660 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

he could NEVER pay it back.

Never/Ever is a long time. I once lived in a house worth not much more than 50K, and now my pin collection is probably worth close to that. Things change with time. Not saying it would be easy to raise that money and then pay it off, but he needs to find a way to do it, to make things right.

#6666 4 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

Personally, I think you're greatly downplaying Kevin's deceit and wrongdoing. Good intentions or not, he flat out lied. Repeatedly. I don't care if he thought he could get away with making the games without getting license approval. He knowingly and repeatedly lied to his customers many of whom asked him point blank "Do you have the license"? People never new the risks they were undertaking because of his lies.
As far as funds spent, let's be honest, you have no idea. All you or anyone can do is estimate money spent on what we've seen and been told (pictures of cabinets, parts, etc.) But you have no idea if money was spent traveling the country to shows, or on employees, or even to themselves for that matter. No clue. I guess we'll only know in a few months when we say how many people were refunded money and how much.

I clearly stated he committed fraud and knowingly did so by lying about those things and I have said that in previous posts. What I said is I don't believe he started out intending to defraud people, but clearly that is what he did. But as I said, I think calling him a scumbag is a little over the top, but I'm sure many here will disagree with me on that, and we are all entitled to our opinion and to voice such.

I believe I do have a pretty good idea on what he has spent, and you are welcome to look at posts I have made in this thread and in others on pinside that demonstrate that I have enough background, experience and knowledge to make an educated guess. Of course, you are certainly welcome to disregard all of that and disregard my estimate.

#6671 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If Kevin had the skills to earn more money he would not have bought a $50,000 house.
99% of people buy the most house they can possibly afford.

I guess I am in that 1%, but I agree most folks do that, assuming they will be making more money in the future, so that ultimately it will be less of a financial burden to pay off the mortgage. I'm just not someone who subscribes to that belief (and too many Real Estate folks push people that way, and that certainly contributed to the whole Real Estate market collapse, and cost many folks their homes). 80% of the population does not have enough savings to go more then a few months if they lost their job. And that has nothing to do with how much money they make, since I've also seen folks making over $150K get in deep financial trouble quickly after losing their jobs (which I do find just mind boggling), too many folks believe in living for today and getting what they want today, and not worrying about tomorrow. I personally have zero debt, which is tied to how I was raised -- don't spend money you don't have.

I have no clue how old you are, but plenty of people as they age, develop skills, experience and knowledge that let them make more in relative terms to what they were making in the 20s. I suspect that is the case with you. Hopefully, for Kevin sake, he will be able to learn and grow from this experience and be more successful in the future.

#6674 4 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

What does experience have to do with knowing what he spent?

I know how much it costs to build a prototype, including the BOM, having done so, I know how much it costs to get molds made for vacuum forming ramps, I know the cost/time involved in coding a game with the depth of Predator, having done that (and having seen the Predator code), I know how much effort/time it takes to create the animations and sound, having done that, I know how much it costs to hire an artist to do playfield and cabinet art, and I have reasonable knowledge on how much going to a show and travel cost, and I have a decent enough sense of how many shows he went to.

You are correct, I do not know how much he paid himself as I also don't know how much income he had coming in from other sources that would impact that. But sans that, I believe that based on what I do know, that my educated estimate is in the correct ball park.

I also know that it does not matter what I say here, since you have already decided to disregard my opinion on this, which you certainly have every right to do.

#6675 4 years ago
Quoted from Matt_Rasmussen:

Credit is actually a very good idea when you manage it properly.

A very valid point and I did I have mortgage at one time that I paid off. However, I believe that credit card debt, unless accumulated due to emergency or basic needs, is a huge and costly mistake.

#6778 4 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

Really? Does Multimorphic have anyone's money right now? Seems to me P3 (whether you like the game or not) is much more innovative and advanced than anything seen before including WOZ.

There may be some who have pre-paid, but you can get on the list without providing any money. Money is due when your game is ready for production. Seems the machine and games are continuing to make nice progress, but not sure of when Gerry things production will be starting.

http://www.multimorphic.com/index.php/p3-pinball-platform/pre-orders#

1 week later
12
#7512 4 years ago

This article is disappointing in so many ways.

The first thing Kevin should have said was "I f'd up, I was in over my head, I really thought I was okay with what I was doing based on a phone call with Fox, and when I found I wasn't, rather then facing the music I tried to just pretend everything was still okay, and that made things even worse, and I'm very sorry for that and for what I have done, I really screwed up and I am going to do everything I can to make it right."

Obviously what we got was the total opposite from that, and as I said disappointing. There just seems to be a total lack of self awareness.

Also disappointing, as others have said, that Martin did not ask some of the tough questions, especially given Kevin's statements and the inconsistencies within it and past statements, and his lack of self awareness as far as what happened. Maybe martin determined that he was not going to get meaningful answers, or maybe he asked those questions and got answers that would add nothing to the article, given the responses (e.g. more of the same).

If money had been refunded, in the last week or two, I would think he would want to make sure pinside knows, (whether it is the pinball community or not), he knows many of his buyers are here. You would think he would be sure to refund someone who would talk about it publicly and loudly (and yes, 90% of you all thought of the same name).

By giving nothing of substance regarding folks getting their money back, those pursuing legal action have no reason to halt what they are doing. There was nothing here that is going to make the angry villagers put down their pitch forks.

As I said, disappointing.

18
#7601 4 years ago

"oh what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive" -- Walter Scott

As far as a comment on license being 50K, as it has been discussed before, it would likely not cost that much. Again, Fox is not in this for the money, they are in this to promote the brand, but their first priority is to protect the brand/IP. Which is why in hindsight you continue to see more and more things that supported the "no official license" view (like the kerning of the letters on the backglass (which was allegedly approved) that someone recently pointed out, which was one of those things that made me say 'duh').

However, what is more important, based on what I have gleaned over the last few months, and just recently talking with Roger Sharpe, is that he would have an ice cubes chance in hell, of Fox giving a start-up a license without a clear plan for the getting the machines manufactured, and typically would be via a proven, established means. This would be especially true for someone with no experience in starting and running a company. It may well be why EoD was going to be done by JJP.

It may be the case that Kevin at one point early on had a conversation with someone at Fox, who believed he was doing a one off project for his personal enjoyment, which would fall under fair use, and said, you can do 'this', and off Kevin went. However, the number of statements he made over time, clearly indicate he knew what would be required in a real license, and he clearly made statements that are totally inconsistent (getting approvals, etc.) with what he has said early on, along the way, and most importantly now. Many have already pointed out the inconsistencies in this thread and like many, I would have like to have seen Martin challenge him on those. But at the end of the day, it does not matter, since 99.9% of the folks here no longer believe anything he says -- and rightfully so.

As far as vendors (Matt, Aaron, Paul, etc.), I think Kevin talked a good enough game and talked details and gave them enough assurances to give them a comfort level he had the license. Like may people here, they wanted to believe. And you have to wonder if after saying it so often and for so long, that he started to actually believe his owns lies (e.g a pathological liar?) -- I guess I am looking for something that could possibly explain how he appears so disconnected from the reality of this situation.

As far as folks getting their money back, I continue to hope for the best, but fear for the worst.

#7716 4 years ago

I need to make a correction on previous posts I have made. On a couple of occasions, I referred to Aaron/FAST as a vendor on Predator, when that is the not the case, he was a vendor on EoD. It was my bad including him with other vendors, and I think I made the error due to Aaron being vocal in this thread the last couple of months, as he was working with Kevin on EoD and was in contact with him, and reporting on some of those conversations as he was trying to support him in his overall efforts.

Like myself and others, we had valid reasons to think he was licensed for Predator, considering the the fact that it was clear he was licensed on EoD, which was the project Aaron was involved in. In addition he talked about all of the things that would occur with a valid license, you can certainly see why Aaron and others, like myself, believed he had the license. Once it came out that was not the case, Aaron parted ways with Kevin.

To be clear, Aaron was not providing hardware for predator. I apologize to Aaron if my posts brought unwarranted attention on him, especially if anyone thought he made money from Predator.

Oh, and I want to be careful that I don't now implicate another vendor, it is my understanding that Kevin had not bought any of the p-roc related hardware other than for the prototype.

#7837 4 years ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

They wouldn't let me publish it with a reference to his name.

I think I figured out what he means by "middle truth", (although your definition is certainly more entertaining). As I said in one post, there are three sides to every story, in this case AG, Kevin and the third, being the actual truth, which lies somewhere in between or 'the middle'. I guess Kevin decided that he is going to tell us what the 'middle truth' is -- but that is not how it works, he only gets to tell his side, he does not get to tell anyone what the truth is, since we know he is 'truth challenged'.

Whether we ever get the 'middle truth' is doubtful, but the primary thing people care about right now is not the truth (although that would be nice), but the money -- show us the money!!!

#7847 4 years ago

not really the same thing, "argument to moderation" states that the truth is a compromise of the positions, I'm saying the truth is the truth, and it typically lies between them, but is not a compromise. In some cases it may be comprised of elements from the two sides, but I don't view it as a compromise. Heck, in some cases it could turn out to be 95% one side, 4% from neither side , 1% from the second side -- and I doubt the person on the 1% side, would consider that a compromise.

In this case I expect the truth we are looking for is likely 20% of what AG is saying, 20% of what Kevin is and 60% that neither one is saying the truth about in their version of the story (e.g. Why did Aaron K leave?, I doubt it is what Kevin has claimed, and not something AG has talked about, where is the money -- not believing it is all in paypal safe and secure).

#7866 4 years ago
Quoted from woodworker:

Who's the guy on the far left? I swear I saw him at MGC last weekend.

I saw him too, don't know his name. He was also with Kevin at MGC last year, and I think he may have been with him at expo this year, not certain. I'm sure if you really wanted to know you could pour through old posts to see if anyone talked about being out there with Kevin for the EoD announcement -- not that it really matters who he is. Odds are he was getting these same 'middle truth' as the rest of us.

#7885 4 years ago
Quoted from asay:

Well there we have it. All the money went to strippers.

based on her outfit, that looks like a photo taken from Twin Peaks, (next to expo), which promotes its 'scenic views' -- so, close enough.

#7896 4 years ago
Quoted from Jetzxi:

Rosh.....you know me I was helping Mike pick up that Dr Who from you last year.

Sorry, I've got a terrible memory, and that was not even that long ago. I also think I tend to block out all aspects of a game leaving my house. Of course, now that you reminded me, I'll spend the rest of the day bumming that I let the Doctor go. I hope Mike is enjoying it.

#8000 4 years ago
Quoted from Trekkie1978:

Can anyone answer his question:
After the credit card company gives you a chargeback, do they then in turn go after Kevin?

They first send a document to the merchant indicated the chargeback request and what the customer is claiming as the reason. In theory Kevin is the merchant, but not sure how that will work with Paypal, they may be considered the merchant, and they would then likely send Kevin some paper work (not sure how paypal handles this). The merchant then has X days (7 to 14 days?) to challenge the chargeback by providing an explanation and evidence as to why the chargeback should not be granted.

If no response is provided by the due date, then the money is returned to buyer and deducted from the merchants account. If the merchant responds, then the bank/credit card makes a determination as to whether the charge back should continue. They typically go back to the person requesting the chargeback if there is response to report back and give them a chance to rebut what the merchant says. I've seen cases where it ended up not being all or none, but a partial payment.

With credit cards (can't say with paypal), they typically will catch a refund attempt against a charge that has already been charged back and vice versa (in my experience you can't refund a credit card charge against the original transaction for more than the amount originally charged).

Given this freaking disaster, the whole refund thing (if kevin ever even attempted it) could be a lot more problematic with paypal in the middle.

Unfortunately I have been on both sides of this, but never with paypal involved.

#8007 4 years ago
Quoted from CaryCarmichael:

I also don't like that to have a 'verified' PP account you have to enter a bank account.

No matter how often Paypal asks, I refuse to link it to my bank and it has not prevented me from making purchases or receiving money.

It is annoying enough you can't use your credit card if you have money in your paypal account (or at least I have not found a way), and then when that is gone and if you want to do a personal payment, you end up with a fee. Even more annoying is when the split the purchase between what is in your account and a credit card. The last thing I want is them going to my bank account for any reason (I already had one instance of identify theft where the state of new york wiped out my entire bank account (and I don't even live in NY), which fortunately was relatively easy to correct/reverse).

2 weeks later
#8341 4 years ago
Quoted from Nibbles:

She is a photograph taker that really needs to learn proper lighting, camera settings, and how to not constantly over/under expose shots - http://www.laumephotography.com/

I first read that as 'lame' photography, and then after going to the site . . . was not sure I did mis-read it.

#8377 4 years ago
Quoted from playboywillis:

Claimed it on his taxes or something right?

I think the only claiming he has done was that he had a license.

While a cash deposit of over 10K at your bank results in paperwork to the IRS, not sure how transfers from paypal to a bank account would come into play. Regardless, if he was doing them as they came in, they would all be under the reporting requirement. Doubt the IRS is going to catch this unless something else (or someone) brings it to their attention.

#8380 4 years ago
Quoted from Tomahawkjim:

won't he have to pay interest on the money in his bank account?

sure, but $10K more in interest than the year before, is not going to trigger an audit, as long as he pays the taxes on that interest.

2 weeks later
#8509 4 years ago
Quoted from Enaud:

Enaud's back home!

Sounds like a successful trip for you as far as getting a judgement and getting to enjoy some vacation with all of the places you have been (most of which I have also been to, so I know you had a good time).

Maybe there is still a glimmer of hope for those who have not yet been able to get their refunds to get them.

1 week later
#8761 4 years ago

When I read the stuff that went on in court, it makes me wonder wether he is a sociopath, psychopath or just a compulsive liar. Based on test below, I'm leaning towards sociopath.

A sociopath is defined as having 3 or more of the following traits:

Regularly breaks or flaunts the law
Constantly lies and deceives others
Is impulsive and doesn’t plan ahead
Can be prone to fighting and aggressiveness
Has little regard for the safety of others
Irresponsible, can’t meet financial obligations
Doesn’t feel remorse or guilt

Not saying I would rule out him being a psychopath either, which is very similar

#8769 4 years ago
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.

I think the problem here is that he believes, based on some conversation with some peon at 'fox', that he was within legal rights to do it under fair use. Accordingly, he will claim he believed he did have the license when he was stating such, and it was only much later that he learned what he was doing was not acceptable from a licensing standpoint. Which is then followed by the 'now that we know this we are trying to get the proper license', BS

#8771 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

None of that matters, he had no license and said he did, he even made up stories about working with Fox

I'm just saying that is his story, and why this not as cut and dry in a court of law as we would like it to be. Yes, we all believe he was lying about it, but unfortunately that does not mean a court of law will see it the same way, and clearly so far the authorities have chosen not to consider this a crime

#8889 4 years ago

Congrats to all of those who have gotten refunds, this is certainly a positive development and hopefully all will be made whole. Will be interesting to see if anyone who got a charge back somehow also gets a refund. Paypal and the credit card companies are typically pretty good at making sure that does not happen, but given how screwy this as been . . .

While I am not a buyer, maybe this is an positive omen that I'll also be surprised with good news, given my 14 month battle with the IRS to get a refund. I find it easy to compare the IRS and Kevin, since it both cases trying to talk to a live person or to get a response of any kind, requires a near miracle.

Hopefully those who paid by check, will hear something soon.

#8893 4 years ago
Quoted from PACMAN:

To be clear, Kevin and his attorney have NOTHING to do with the Paypal refunds

Ugh, unfortunately that means those who paid by check are still hosed. Obviously the drama is far from over.

#8990 4 years ago
Quoted from Manic:

If they were actually selling copies of the movie for cash then you might have a comparable example

that is the whole point and I think where Kevin first fell off the rails. If you want to do a fan thing, and you are doing it non-profit, you are typically going to be okay under fair use. Once you start selling it, well, that then crosses the line. I think if Kevin did talk to someone at Fox early on, and got that type of a message, he mis-understood it and thought he would be okay. I have no doubt that along the way he learned that was not the case, but decided to keep on going, and at that point is when this turned from being naive to criminal.

"oh what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive" -- Sir Walter Scott

3 weeks later
#9323 3 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Thank you for quoting those, now they can't be deleted.

Paul has been a stand-up guy, and I don't think he would have ever deleted those. As you can see in those comments, he was conned like everyone else, and he took responsibility for what he said and gave his explanation for it. He was pretty clear as to what happened and how he was shafted, and probably to a far greater extent then any buyer.

#9331 3 years ago
Quoted from tamoore:

Paul's down fall was stating that the license was secure without actually knowing that it was.

Kevin was saying all the right things as far as details that would leave anyone familiar with licensing believing he did have the license, including stating things like that the art was being modified to accommodate licensing issues, etc. I think that gave Paul a level of reasonableness that the license had been aquired. So he was conned, and in 20/20 hindsight was more definitive in his statement than he should have been. His position that he won't do unlicensed things is accurate, and he certainly believe that Kevin was licensed. Paul has stated he was conned, and apologized for misleading anyone, which is why I said he was a 'stand-up guy'.

I believe Paul expanded his business into a larger space, and hired staff to accommodate Kevin's plans. Which of course kept changing until dying. So, that is why I believe he was hurt more then most others.

I can certainly understand if there are some who will not forgive him, that is certainly their right, but I think that anger is misplaced, it all belongs on Kevin.

1 month later
#9436 3 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

It is stunning. But go through a traffic stop with an expired inspection sticker and expect to have the book thrown at you with fines and a court date.

worse, look at the woman down in Texas, gets pulled over for not using a turn signal when changing lanes, next thing you know she ends up in jail and then dead.

Unfortunately justice is rarely dished out appropriately.

#9447 3 years ago
Quoted from robertmee:

That's a bit of hyperbole....It wasn't "next thing you know" due to injustice. She fought the officer and used drugs while in jail (3x the legal limit of pot in her system). Not saying what happened wasn't a tragedy, but it was hardly due to injustice.

You and I clearly see this differently. Something is incredibly wrong with someone ending up dead, due to not signaling when changing lanes, and having done nothing else of a criminal nature. Considering the great lengths they have gone, to try find footage of her in jail to show no wrong doing on the part of the authorities, I'm sure if she got pot in the local jail, they would have made a much bigger deal of it. This is a classic case of trying to come up with as much dirt on the victim to shift attention away from any wrong doing that might have been done by the authorities. Unfortunately we will never know the truth.

Quoted from toyotaboy:

Don't know if this is relevant, but Michaeal Jordan JUST won a court case against Dominick's (A chicago based grocery store that went bankrupt a couple years back) for using his likeness without permission back in 2009, to the tune of 8.9 million dollars (Jordan isn't even keeping the money, he's donating it to chicago charity because he wasn't interested in money, just defending his name).
http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/13486052/supermarket-chain-pay-michael-jordan-89-million-use-name
Sounds like safeway has to pay since they owned Dominick's at the time, but it proves even bleak cases can still prevail. Perhaps if lawsuits for both Kevin and JPOP go through, even if they don't "have any money left", they'll at least be financially responsible to pay it. Whether that means jail time or a permanent wage garnish by federal law until the money is paid back, either way justice will be served.

Not sure this was a 'bleak case'. Safeway was doomed with the trial in Chicago, where most of the jurors would have found in favor of Jordan regardless (especially having had Safeway closed down dominicks stores and left town, which left a lot of folks without a nearby supermarket, at least for a period of time). The trial was strictly about how much they owed, not whether they illegally used his name, and not surprisingly the home town fans gave him close to what he was asking for. The most interesting thing was how his sponsors were trying to keep their contracts all confidential so other athletes would not know how much they were paying him to do little to nothing, but his Lawyers needed to, in order to justify how much his name is worth.

jpop did not really commit fraud (and yes I know others disagree with me on this), he was just a really bad business man, who is also delusional. Kevin claimed he has a license he didn't, he was not legally able to produce machines, but still took in money under false pretenses, that is clearly fraud. If the legal system never pursues criminal charges on that, that is failure of the legal system and those in it responsible to defend the law. Not signaling a lane change, you to go to jail, but steal close to a million dollars, you get to hang out at home playing video games -- something is just not right.

#9461 3 years ago
Quoted from Nibbles:

Yep. Or Kevin did on my behalf, however you want to look at it.

I'm pretty sure Paul was only paid for the six or so cabinets (assuming he was even paid for those), and those were delivered to Kevin, so Paul does not owe you a cabinet.

Keep in mind Paul expanded (and maybe even moved) his operation to support what supposed to be 250 cabinets, and after that expense (and I assume now having a facility too big for his needs), he has nothing to show for it. So, lets not forget he is also a victim.

#9494 3 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

He was banking on a billion dollar baby and he didn't get it.

and I think in the case of fraud, the courts would look at this as he believed he could get the money he needed, that his intent was to make the business work, not fraud -- now we may all recognize that was a pipe dream, but, his intent was to get the games made and in his delusional mind, he still thinks he will. Look at what happened with Kevin, when it went to court, he claimed 'we are trying to get the machines made' and that was enough to get him out of the courtroom with no immediate issues, other that needing to pay the one person (and not sure if they ever got paid). And I don't think anyone around here believe what Kevin did was not fraud. Maybe things have progressed since then with KeithinMI, but us folks in the peanut gallery have not heard any update on that.

#9541 3 years ago

Allegedly the code was finished.

The black lights were supposed to show hidden images on the playfield, but by all reports could only be seen in a dark environment. The lamps down the side was the latest/last attempt to improve the effect (but did look cool on ramps)

There were videos that showed details of modes and of game play but they have long since disappeared

3 weeks later
12
#9741 3 years ago

This is not a case of counterfeit goods, this is theft of IP. The machine itself is not counterfeit. If their was an official Predator pinball, and Kevin was making and selling copies of it, that would be counterfeit goods.

If the guys at that auction were owed money from Kevin, and he was there with a pocketful of cash (it was an auction), it is shocking to me that he was not confronted with at least a "hey Kevin, I'm predator number XYz, you owe me $XXXX, so how much money in your pocket". While he would have probably ignored you, you could have raised enough of a ruckus to get him kicked out (although probably yourself as well), and at least he would have had a wasted trip, which I'm sure would have given you some satisfaction.

As far as fair use, any lawyer in that space will tell you it is very murky. Based on the law, it can be open to interpretation of what was done as far as if it violates the rights holder (transformative works, parody, etc.). In the case of Predator, it absolutely violates it, it directly uses IP content and is being done for profit, there is no wiggle room, and everyone here recognizes that. Kevin was also using music from the sound track and not sure if that has a different IP owner, but we have certainly see where the music industry does not take kindly to theft of IP. Accordingly, if money changed hands, even on a single item, it is theft of IP. Whether the IP holder would care enough to go after someone is a different issue. The reality there is it comes down to money or if they feel that what is being done can be damaging in some way. Typically they are going to go after the maker not the buyer, but that does not mean they can't. The "jayne hat' from firefly is a great example. Tons of folks were making these and Fox really did not care, until they licensed the design to a company that was going to make them, then they came down quickly on all the individuals making them. Ultimately anyone can sell those hats, the design itself is not protected, however, they can't legally refer to them as Jayne hats or firefly hats, or anything else since those are protected.

Lets also remember that this is not just theft of IP. Kevin was not positioning this as 'fan art' (and not that it would fly under that either given the large profit component -- despite his 'non profit' BS). He clearly stated he had the license and took money under false pretense. He further talked about examples of him working with Fox on approvals, which was additional fraudulent statements about the legality of what he was doing.

As far as how many machines are out there. We know he had purchased sufficient parts for 10 machines (as he took great pride in showing photos of the parts). It is unclear how many cabinets were made (6?) -- although easy enough for him to buy 'blank cabinets' and put the artwork on) and how many playfields I believe spooky was doing the playfields, so they know how many were made and that is likely the biggest determination in how many of these might exist.

Since he did get a C&D from Fox, if he still went ahead and sold these, and depending on the quantity, that could certainly piss them off enough to go after him. However, it is the buyers who sue that will likely be the ones that cause him pain (although won't be enough pain to satisfy them).

#9771 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

This is completely false. There is no dependency on being a copy of an existing good. If you make some random handbags, put a Gucci pattern and logo on it... it's now counterfeit goods.

This carried his brand/logo, I don't believe he had a 20th Century Fox logo, he was not positioning this as someone else's product, he has not taken their brand, he has taken their IP. The term Predator is not a trademarked term, possibly the logo, but I've never seen it with the circle R or TM.

Seems to me this is IP theft, not counterfeiting, but I'm not a legal expert and the legal definition certainly may be counterfeiting, not that it really matters much as far as which term applies.

2 months later
#10173 3 years ago

Originally the criminal charges were not pursued since Kevin told the investigators he was still planning to make the machines, that he was working through licensing and other such statements that we all know to be BS. Makes me wonder if there is a chance to get the authorities to take a second look at some point. Probably needs to be higher up the food chain then the local police/DA, which it should be, since this is really a federal crime, since it cross state boundaries. I guess these days it is hard to see this registering as worthwhile with the feds, unless there is some linkage to funds being routed to support terrorist activity or some other major threat.

16
#10180 3 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

I hope Santa brings Kevin socks that don't fit.

how about "bracelets" that do

#10188 3 years ago
Quoted from playernumber4:

He would look better in orange.

orange is what goes with the bracelets I mentioned, not sure where that red dress comes in.

1 month later
#10204 3 years ago
Quoted from NinJaBooT:

I still can't believe I sent money to that fool! I'm willing to bet that the rest of his life is going to be as much a gong show as this project was so I don't see success in Kevin's future anytime soon. Odds are he will scrape the bottom of the barrel for the next 40 years and probably amount to nothing. Thats the only joy I can take from this fiasco

Not sure that is true. I have an ex brother-in-law, and I say ex, since the entire family has disowned him based on his lack of ethics and the fact he has screwed family and friends on more than one occasion. The thing is, he always seems to find the next 'business' and new folks will to invest in him, and then when things fail, lots of people are screwed and somehow he manages to come out of it with few repercussions. He then seems to be able to find the next business and sway new "investors" and the like, rinse and repeat. Some guys can talk a good game and sway folks to like him and to get on board (heck, he is on his fourth wife).

Nothing that has happened so far will discourage Kevin from doing this type of thing again. In fact, given that so far he has had little repercussion for what he is done, it will more likely embolden him to do something like this again. Other then damaging his reputation in the pinball world, nothing really bad has happened to him at this point.

2 weeks later
#10236 3 years ago
Quoted from Breaking_Dad:

Does fox not see the potential....why didn't they just "take over"......finish them....sell them.....cut KK out......boom....everyone's happy.......?!..............Joey

Fox just wrote off 80 million of their investment in one of the sports fantasy companies, seriously doubt they are interested in making pinballs in hopes of making a million dollars in revenue. As I have said before, they only license stuff to promote the brand, not for money, if it takes any really effort on their part, they have no interest. Look at the pain Heighway is going through to get approvals for stuff, this is very low priority for them. Best case is that someone else will get the legit license, but that will do nothing for those who got screwed by kevin.

#10239 3 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

Whatever the Manufacturer would be, I would wait a bit before announcing this game.

It does raise an interesting question, would anyone want to make a Predator machine, given the history of it.

#10253 3 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

I imagine he could have used an unlicensed theme, however, a good part of the draw for this particular game was the theme. There's no telling what it would have been like if it were something else entirely.

In general the game was viewed as being very basic in layout design (shots, flow, etc.), toys (and lets not talk about the UV), etc., especially by today's standards. While it could be argued that it fit the era of the movie (and machines of that time), hard to see this game being successful without the Predator Theme, which was far and a way the selling point, and the theme was pretty well implemented.

#10255 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Where he went wrong was selling 250 machines (and the lies that went with it). Had he just made a few custom games and sold them on the down low, no one would notice or care.

At the end of the day, where he went wrong was not having a license and claiming he did. That was the foundation he used to build the game and collect a massive amount money. When that foundation cracked it all came falling down and the buyers were the ones who were left standing in the rubble.

If he had cranked the games out faster, it is possible he would have gotten away with it, at least in the short term. He was legit on the EoD license -- not that it appeared anyone was interested. You have to think that money on that project could ultimately have come under risk if Fox eventually did learn about Predator, even after they had shipped, and went after him. I wonder what the EoD guys know about what went down.

#10269 3 years ago
Quoted from scott_freeman:

What did he sign?

Jamie had appeared at one of the pinball shows out west with Kevin to promote the game. I believe a few folks around here saw the signed agreement (Aaron from FAST may have been one of them) -- the agreement was not with Mythbusters, but directly with Jamie and Adam, thus the reason the game was named Experts of Dangerous, which was what they used before mythbusters.

there may be a photo somewhere on pinside of Jamie at the event. Here you go . . .

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/skit-b-2nd-game/page/12#post-1773283

When it was announced, they said JJP would be doing the manufacturing, which would have been interesting to see.

#10296 3 years ago
Quoted from Trekie:

It would be nice to see their pictures in the post office.

Not like they are hiding from the law. The law is failing to take action, which is salt in the wounds for those who were ripped off.

#10299 3 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

It's the legal system and it works the same for all

totally disagree with this statement, as far as "works the same for all", but that is a conversation/debate for another time/place.

#10306 3 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

no one wants to have a face to fist chat

first off, you are not going to help your cause if you show up at his door and assault him. Setting aside the "fist", there is still not much you can accomplish by even showing up at his door, other then maybe the satisfaction of yelling out him. Not like he is going to hand you over your cash. I can see plenty of downsides to showing up, since it would seem that the possibility of the conversation degrading to the point where anger takes over seems pretty high.

#10323 3 years ago
Quoted from Enaud:

Probably all been spent on crack and hookers.

Probably spent on his lawyer, although more likely he has stiffed him, other then a retainer. I take it no info on if he is currently employed so you could get it that way.

#10331 3 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

My understanding is Kevin's lawyer quit the case.

I'm sure he quit once the retainer was gone and he knew he would never get paid another dime from a liar and thief

4 weeks later
#10404 3 years ago
Quoted from captainadam_21:

and has not been seen since.

Makes you wonder what impact this may have had on Kevin, having his dad walk out of his life. I'm guessing was a teenager, maybe a touch younger. Now if the dad was an abusive alcoholic or drug user, maybe it was a good thing he left. I am in no way saying this excuses anything Kevin did, but makes you wonder if he was not raised with the understanding of what it means to be an adult and member of society who acts with integrity and accepts responsibilities for their actions. Given his mother was present, I would tend to think that is not the case, but I've seen plenty of people get pretty screwed up in some form or another by having a parent disappear from their lives when at a formative age. More over that is from a parent passing away, but I've seen it when a father has removed himself from their child's life.

Does seem odd that little info has come out on Kevin in quite some time, nothing really since he was spotted at that auction. Assuming some legal stuff may still be happening, but been pretty quiet around here as far as any real info.

Again, not saying any of what happened to Kevin in his formative years excuses what he has done.

2 weeks later
#10457 3 years ago
Quoted from Trekie:

Aaron was their for the takeoff he is their for the crash.

He was on stage promoting it and was there when they were saying things like "we have the license". I don't think we ever heard the scoop on what led to the parting of the ways.

#10459 3 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

But it's not hard to guess ...

Not so sure . . .
was it that he learned they really did not have the license?
or did he know and his conscience kicked in, but if so, then why not take action and make it right.
or was he just tired of looking at that hat?
or ???

2 months later
#10858 3 years ago

I believe Kevin started this on the up and up. He thought he found a way to do it legally. Then he realized he could not and rather than fess up and refund money, he decided to lie and keep on going. One lie led to two to three and then it snowballed and he just kept on lying. He had multiple opportunities to fess up and get out and minimize the damage. Lets be honest, if Kevin came clean and said, listen some of the money is gone, but I can refund 80%, most folks would have been pleased, although some would have still bitched up a storm, but in hindsight, . . . Unfortunately for all involved, he just kept digging the hole deeper and deeper.

No one would want 'alien hunter', this was not a great machine, while it had a decent enough rule set, the playfield was basic and boring, there were no cool toys (lets not even get started on the UV), etc. It was all about the theme. Maybe a handful of folks would have stayed in, but to think he could have changed theme and sold 250, no fracking way.

Other then the ramps, and wiring, I believe everything was else was stock (ball guides are easy enough to make as needed). Those ramps could be made in a kitchen, but would need to be two pieces, maybe three. However, the prototype ramps sucked, the ball would frequently fly right off. Again, without the theme, this machine is not worth making.

As far as the group of guys who exposed it. I agree with those who feel that they did cause damage to others by holding back, relative to it moving folks outside their windows for charge backs. No doubt thousands of dollars could have been recovered had they exposed what they had found earlier. However, I seriously doubt they had even given any thought to that when they did what they did. They were self motivated at the time to get their money and to then bring Kevin down. At the same time, there were plenty of naysayers before that, so not like there was no indication/rumors of an issue. Of course there were plenty of defenders and I think the whole EoD thing, which clearly was legit, certainly supported the belief he was legit on Predator as well. At the same time, since that was legit, it also showed that Kevin knew he was not legit on Predator.

Business fail all the time, and if Skit-B failed due to their inability to get games built, given his lack of business or manufacturing expertise, that would be one thing, but Kevin lied and lied and lied and in my book that made it fraud. Anyone who did jump in, had to understand, despite the belief you were "buying a product and not investing", that you were given money to a totally unproven entity and that there was substantial risk in doing so. I'm sure for every person who did put money down, there were 10 others who thought about it, but did not want to take the risk. Accordingly, the fact the games never saw the light of day, is not a total shock. However, what Kevin did, imo, was fraud, and he should pay the price for that.

#10861 3 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

you should look into the timing of c&d letters compared to when payments were required. It may change your beliefs.

I said when he started he was on the up and up, he certainly did not have C&D letters at the start. Certainly asking for money after the C&D was issued is a questionable act, having said that getting a C&D does not always mean you are in the wrong, but in this case, even if he felt he was still okay, that should have been sufficient for him to know to not be taking money until he resolved the licensing question. Obviously he choose otherwise, and certainly if he was walking a fine line up until that point, he crossed well over it then.

#10897 3 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

What does "on the up and up" mean?

It means he did not start off intending to commit fraud. He thought what he was doing was legal, but once it became clear to him it wasn't and he kept going and continued to say he was licensed, etc. it became fraud. So, you could argue he was acting illegally from the start, but I don't think he understood that, but again, once he did and kept going, he went from being stupid and in over his head to being a criminal who fully knew what he was doing was illegal.

Quoted from TigerLaw:

It certainly does in this case.

Agreed, but my point being just because someone sends you a C&D does not mean they are in the right and you are in the wrong. I've been in situations where someone sent one trying to claim we were in violation of a patent, clearly hoping to get us to pay them a licensing fee. We felt otherwise, had our lawyer tell them why we felt we were not, and they went away.

2 weeks later
#10935 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

is a good payment in itself.

Not sure it ss payment, but is more than anyone is getting now.

Quoted from HappyDayz:No, I'm not Kevin. No, I don't know Kevin personally. Maybe you can get some money from one of the suppliers to whom the money went?

Oh, so the suppliers who provided parts, services, etc, people should go after them? How does that make any sense, they were not the ones who committed in fraud, and in many cases where were also screwed (although maybe not as much as Jpop vendors were)

Quoted from HappyDayz:

He has apparently been trying to sell everything he has. All Predator stuff. All EOD stuff. Even personal stuff. Just to pay his lawyer. If he could afford to hang onto even one Predator or his EOD prototype I am pretty confident he would since those were really his babies. He didn't hide the stuff. He sold it, right? That seems like a pretty solid indication to me.

From someone who claims they are not Kevin or know Kevin, you seem to know an awful lot about what is going on with him. It is hard for me to not agree with others who believe you have a connection to him. Clearly your contributions to this thread are not adding value or helping those who were injured by this and at this point the best this thread can do is provide meaningful info on the lawsuits and act as 'therapy' and 'support' for those people who were injured, so maybe it would be better if you just left this thread for good.

#10948 2 years ago
Quoted from HappyDayz:

Easy Rosh. Give it a rest.

Seriously? First off I have not posted in this thread more then a few times in the last two months, and the first time, I believe, I have ever commented to you.

Second, if you had read through the thread, you would know there is no indication of any vendor having been paid for more than they delivered. Do you honestly think that happened?

It is not my place to encourage or discourage anyone on whether to spend more money on going after Kevin. Each person has to decide for themselves what they want to do. Whether they want to just put it behind them and move on, or if they want to inflict as much pain on him as they can, with their limited options.

As i said, clearly you are not being viewed as someone contributing positively to this thread. Every post you have made gets lots of down votes and no up votes as far as people agreeing with your posts. You are doing nothing more than pouring salt in the wounds. And if you really do want to be supportive for those who have been harmed, then go away!

#11213 2 years ago
Quoted from HappyDayz:

My sole reason for getting my hands on the game was to look at the game code and how they solved several other issues (like boot-up sequence and powering on) for my own P-ROC project. That was it. No other grand conspiracy.

yeah, because it is not like there aren't 100 other guys out there who could help with that, and at least a half dozen experts, regardless of which framework, that spend time every day helping people. In addition, using Predator code to learn how to do things would probably be a mistake, since that is based on the original framework and a lot has changed since then.

BTW, if it is software issues with your predator, I can fix that for you, would just cost . . . lets see, how much is owed to the buyers . . .

#11306 2 years ago
Quoted from cfh:

Making a predator is no easy task either. It is extremely complex and would take a lot of time and knowledge.

To me, based on your reputation, experience and knowledge, this comment adds some support to your statements that you are not making one.

Based on all I have seen and know it is not 'extremely complex'. Certainly, if you have never built a machine from scratch or even done a playfield swap, there is a long learning curve, but, that does not make it 'complex' and there are far more complex 'home-brew' games out there and as previously discussed almost everything on this game is stock (the ramps being the big custom item). This game has no more complexity than most sys11 games.

The machine has only 16 solenoids/drivers (There are also a half dozen or so flashers that also use drivers.). Of the 16, the flippers accounted for 4 (power, hold on each), three pops and 2 slings, so that is 9, add in the trough kicker, shooter kicker and knocker and there are only 4 coils used for 'game features' (two ejects, a popper and a diverter). The game I am currently working on, has almost double that.

There about 40 lamps and 40 switches, so a pretty good chunk of those matrixes would need to be wired, not particularly hard or complicated, but is time consuming. In addition, you could easily switch over to direct switch boards vs matrix, which adds some cost, but has less complex wiring. In addition, on a one off game, I'd argue you don't create a wiring harness, you just map it out and wire it up, doing switches, then lamps and then solenoids. I would assume Kevin was trying to develop a wiring harness design on the last machine he built, since that would be needed for any level of production.

Of course there are those UV lamps, so that is maybe where the "extremely complex" comes in

Guessing it took Kevin a month full-time because he was drunk or stoned while doing it.

It is interesting that EoD was supposed to be built by JJP -- which is humorous on many levels. Have to assume he could not do that that on Predator either due to the cost or the lack of the proper license.

#11316 2 years ago
Quoted from cfh:

There's more to it than that, more than just running some wires.

If you have the code, which ultimately you need, the predator.yaml config file would give you all the details on the solenoids, matrices and other wiring requirements. Settings on the boards would be easily determined based on that config and the p-roc docs.

Quoted from cfh:

Also from what I saw on the Tim machine, the software is not finished. For instance the diagnostics didn't work. Also there was no lamp attract mode. There was no ball search if a ball got stuck.

Ball search is a built in feature of the pyprocgame framework, so it may have just be disabled. I know I turn it off when working on a machine, since having the ball search fire when you are working on stuff is beyond annoying. The service mode is also a built in feature, but the original one is pretty vanilla, and I know Kevin did not upgrade it. Not sure why it would not be accessible other then if he did not map the buttons in the service door correctly. Very likely he was using the keyboard on the laptop he was running the game on to handle service stuff and therefore never mapped the buttons.

As far as software not being finished, well that is a completely different subject and not related to the complexity of the machine. In addition to myself, I could name a half dozen guys who could easily jump in and work through that, not that they would be willing to, given the situation.

Quoted from cfh:

Also the comments above are clearly from somebody that's never tried to take on a task like this.

You are wrong about that. Feel free to stop by the P-roc booth at expo this year, and I'll be happy to prove it to you.

Not saying it is easy to make a pinball machine, making pinball is hard, but Predator is not an 'extremely complex' machine, and you were not talking about creating a game from scratch, you were talking about building a predator.

#11326 2 years ago
Quoted from cfh:

Predator does not have these things. Which means you have to manage all the power coming from the wall and ending up to the levels and amperage that you need to run the system. Any proc system is going to need 5 V, 12 V, 18 V for the lamp matrix, 6 V for the G.I., 50 V for the coils. In addition, predator uses a standard dotmatrix display. Which means you need to generate all the negative high voltage to run that display. So that's yet another power supply. There is a lot of power that needs to come in to this game, because there is no central transformer and no driver board, like say a WPC system would have. This all just adds to the complexity of the system. It makes it a lot more complicated than say bride of pin bot 2.0 or cactus canyon continued.

Forgot to address this, plenty of projects have resolved this, and in a variety of ways. Typically by using 2 or 3 power supplies. I use 2 one with 5 and 12 and one with 24 and 70. I don't have any photos of my set up, but you can look at https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/spaceballs-the-pin/page/7#post-2680723 now this has a lot of extra bells and whistles, but the bottom line, it is pretty easy to just go order the needed power supplies.

#11335 2 years ago
Quoted from cfh:So there are people out there with playfields

And are you one of them? I'm sure many here are interested to know how these got distributed.

Quoted from cfh:

the moderators here aren't helping at all either . . . Of course I'm talking about Tim.

Who was hiding who he was and being dishonest about his connection to Kevin and predator? But somehow the moderators are at fault?

#11343 2 years ago

For now, it has been clearly indicated earlier in this thread that there are a half dozen playfields floating around.

#11356 2 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Charlie was contracted to make playfields, I'd imagine he still has the ability to make more for a price.

Seriously doubt he would when even consider it for a millisecond given what we now know about the license.

#11488 2 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

VirtuaPin's silence is easily assumed to be "they got more money from Kevin than they delivered in cabs."

Do people really believe Kevin paid Paul more than he was owed? I'm sure if he had, Kevin and his lawyer would be looking to recover it. Keep in mind, based on past comments from Paul, he spent tons of time introducing Kevin to pinball people, providing engineering support, transporting stuff to shows, moving to a larger space in anticipation of the work, etc. All of which he was not compensated for, but was doing it as part of building a business relationship. While I get that some folks may still be annoyed at Paul for being a supporter of Kevin relative to him having a license, he like many of us was duped by a pathological liar, and given the damage to his reputation and the lack of return on his investment in time and money spent gearing up for, well nothing, he has been hurt by this as much anyone, and anger towards him is mis-placed.

#11491 2 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

No, but it's possible a payment was made for cabinets in advance, then the project fell apart before the cabs could be delivered. Remember, we're looking for a couple hundred thousand Gs.

He has indicated that all cabinets that were made were picked up by Kevin and as i said, hard to believe Kevin would not be trying to get back any money for items not delivered. Which I am sure would be the case with Terry or spooky or back alley as well.

Do we really know how much money he took in? There were allegedly 250 buyers, but most had not made full payments (and a handful did get money back, although in some cases that did not come back out of Kevin's pockets). Has anyone determined with a reasonable degree of accuracy (looking at you Hilton/Keith) how much he actually took in from buyers?

4 weeks later
#11602 2 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

EDIT: Ah I think I get it now, this means they can sell off all his assets to repay everyone?

Not a lawyer, but my read is that part of this is that court appointed Trustee is requesting that Keith be able to do further investigating relative to assets that have not been declared, on his behalf (and on behalf of the creditors). Assumption here being that he would be pretty motivated to uncover assets given the clients he is representing, and has already been involved in pursuit of Kevin's for his misdeeds.

It is certainly interesting, that during depositions, it appears, Kevin did admit to not only using predator funds to buy a house, but putting it in his wife's name specifically in hopes it would protect it if/when the shit hit the fan.

#11606 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

What lawyer would allow their client to actually say that??

The kind Kevin could afford

#11659 2 years ago

I can buy a statement that says buyers needed to have some understanding that there was a risk of pre-ordering from an unproven start-up and had the business failed legitimately, then, those who lost money could look at themselves in the mirror and say 'I took a risk and I lost', but that is not what happened here. This business was run fraudulently, it was built up on lies and then more lies and then more lies and that is why Kevin deserves to be treated as a thief. He did not fail due to his lack of business savvy, (although clearly he did not have any), he failed, because he was trying to do something illegally and he got caught.

While you hate for any child to have their well being harmed by a criminal parent, that does not mean that Kevin should be give any kind of a break, what so ever. There were other adults involved as well, including his wife and mother (and still not much info on why his partner left and if he is being pursued as well, he was certainly there when the money came in and had to know the license was not legit), so they did have a responsibility to step in on this to protect their family, and they chose to be a part of the fraud.

It has been clear for a while that it is likely that little money will be reclaimed but the need for Kevin to be held accountable and to pay a price for his fraud is the absolute minimum that is needed for those who were robbed to move on. I suspect very few want to see his kids be collateral damage, but that is Kevin's fault, not those looking for justice.

18
#11676 2 years ago

Dan, I thought others had debunked your thoughts, but, here, lets be specific . . .

Quoted from DanQverymuch:

If he didn't have kids, I'd be all for this "making his life hell" mentality. I know, I know, he brought it on himself. But he ain't exactly Bernie Madoff.

Why does having kids mean he should get a pass on being a criminal? Why should it matter if he is rich or not? While no one wants to see a child pay the price for having a father that is a lying crook, as I said earlier, the rest of the family should have stepped into protect them, but they chose to participate in the fraud. Since I have a family, I guess you would be okay if I ripped you off for a ton of money. In a perfect world, folks would like 'make his life hell' and not impact his kids, but him having kids does not earn him a free pass, by any stretch of the imagination.

Quoted from DanQverymuch:

I hope that losing some discretionary income money on non-delivered toys is the worst thing that ever happens to all you victims. I know, I know, a few people prepaid multiple entire games... but they hoped to make a killing, and that was a huge risk. One shouldn't risk more than one can afford to lose, and pinball is not an investment vehicle.

I also hope it is the worse thing that ever happens to those who were swindled. And as I've posted previously, if skit-b had failed as a business, and folks lost their money, I would have a lot less sympathy than I do now. Yes, it should have been clear to those buying, that there was risk of buying from a start-up, and it is possible that few were looking to make a profit on it, but that was not the case for most. They did not lose their 'investment' due to a failed company, there were swindled by a con man, so it is totally inappropriate for you to say 'the should not risk more than they could afford to lose'. None of these folks who lost money are saying "oh, I can't make my mortgage payment due to buying a pinball machine", they are saying "this fracking guy lied to me, and stole my money and he should be held accountable under the law". That is what should happen whether this was pocket change to someone, or life savings.

Many were paying early and when requested to help Kevin succeed, they wanted to see him succeed, the community did. They had no clue he was lying and committing fraud, so to come back and say 'your own fault', is total BS.

#11707 2 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

If that's the case, I wonder how much customer money got burned up doing that

or moved to an off shore account.

#11738 2 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Well it played like shit and was broken most of the time...so I guess that tricked people

was an 'R' rated, and popular, theme, was a limited edition, looked good, but yes, played like shit. But lets remember, lots of people buy games that they have never played, so . . .

#11741 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

it actually played really well in the 2nd and 3rd iterations of it.

well, the ramps never played well (but could have been fixed before production), but I agree there were some cool rule features, which was needed since the playfield was pretty vanilla and basically toy less.

1 month later
#11849 2 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

I'm not claiming to know which is true,

So you have information, that you don't know for sure if it is true, and you won't say where you got it from, but you will still come on here with it as if it is fact and attack someone as well as get people fired up that someone has money that they think is theirs? Seriously?

Quoted from Skins:

Need to and actually did are very different.
So, you're saying you:
A) Never received money from skitb in consideration of services rendered for the predator pinball machine production.
Or
B) Recieved money from skitb for services rendered for the predator pinball machine production in which skitb received equaling goods in return from "the cabinet guy".
Or
C) Recieved money from skitb for services rendered and or capital outlay for the predator pinball machine production in which skitb received some or all equaling goods in return from "the cabinet guy".

He has come on in the past and said he had gotten money for services rendered and delivered cabinets to Kevin that were paid for (so not sure if that is B or C). We know he expanded his operation to handle the anticipated needs, but up until wolfmarsh posted that unsubstantiated claim of some large sum of money changing hands for capital purchases, I don't recall any discussion about capital expenditures paid for by skit-b. I assume if there was, that Keith would have dug that info up by now, and it would show up in the legal proceedings. Not like Viturapin was not a known vendor of skit-b, so pretty sure Keith would have been looking into them.

So, maybe this money transfer for capital is true, but without someone willing to provide some evidence to the fact it will do nothing but continue to cause damage that may well be undeserved. Lots of folks were hurt by Kevin, lets be careful not to let the anger at Kevin result in attacks on others that may also have been victims and not coconspirators.

#11854 2 years ago
Quoted from Trekkie1978:

Not exactly sure Kevin is a source you want to use.
Don't forget, anyone can create invoices and bogus information on those invoices.

Exactly, I could come up with a half dozen reasons why Kevin would fabricate that, for example, what better way to try to convince someone things were moving to production them showing invoices that look like items were purchased and paid for?

Mindboggling to think that after all we have learned and seen about Kevin, that anyone would hold up something provided by Kevin, without any other supporting docs/facts, as proof of anything, especially when using it to attack someone.

2 months later
#12026 2 years ago
Quoted from c508:

Too bad they weren't on Notre Dame's schedule this year... the IRISH really could have used the win!

I think the Rutgers fans are thinking the same thing.

1 month later
#12311 2 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

I love when the plane lands and I get a message from the airline app that says "welcome to wherever, post this on facebook?" Maybe I should just tell the thieves my alarm code, key cut numbers etc.

I'm amazed at how many people post 'we are here in <insert some out of the country location> for a week of fun' -- which translates to 'feel free to rob us, you will have plenty of time to pick and choose what you want'.

Although far worse then someone being burglarized on vacation, was when my parents home was burglarized, while we were at my mother's funeral. Here you publish a death notice in the local paper in respect for you loved one, and some scumbags . . .

As far as Kevin's gift to his kid. You can make an argument that his kids should still have Christmas, but that does not mean you buy them expensive gifts -- and yes $1000 on christmas presents for your kids when you are declaring bankruptcy is certainly inappropriate.

#12325 2 years ago
Quoted from crlush:

the last few seconds of the video is a slap in the face (mom didn't buy them daddy did) I feel sorry for his kids.

If it turns out those are hot, then probably good that she is pointing the finger at Kevin, at least the kids will have one parent without a criminal record -- maybe.

14
#12398 2 years ago

Anonymous getting their money and their friends money out first, I think most, if not all of us, can agree is was what we would do. The then sitting on the info for an extended period of time, where there was no upside to them, but downside for many others, is not something I would do, and don't think most would do, once at that point where I was made whole and my close friends were made whole, I would have shared that info so as many others as possible could have gotten money back via Credit card or paypal charge backs. If it is true they deliberately did not share the info just to 'teach others a leasson', I think that is vindictive crap against the wrong group of people. I believe they said that the lawyers at fox asked them not to, but, I would tend to feel I owe more to the community I belong to then to some lawyer/corporation, I have no real relationship with.

We all know whysnow is extremely passionate about most things pinball related, and we all know he was a very vocal supporter of Kevin, if not the most vocal supporter, but he has also apologized many, may times for that and has been very active and vocal in the fight against Kevin. He will always carry that 'label' of supporter/enabler, but I don't think we need to bring it up each time he gets vocal again (although Hilton, maybe it would be a good idea to not get involved in debates about the past actions of others relative to this, other then Kevin, if you don't want your past actions to once again be brought to the top of the discussion).

#12407 2 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

When the issue of the "anonymous group" is raised and people start throwing blame at them instead of (or in addition to) Kevin Kulek, you can be sure that Whysnow's name will also be raised. Why? Because *if* the "anonymous group" has any blame in this for their actions or inactions, then the same logic can certainly be used to say that Whysnow also has plenty of blame to share. How many people kept their money invested in Skit-B based on Whysnow's overbearing declarations of confidence in Skit-B, while slamming any and all posters who questioned the viability of Skit-B and whether there was a license, or whether the pin would ever be delivered?

I fully understand your point, but I would point out that there is a distinct difference, ASSUMING they held back the info deliberately to 'teach a lesson', they did it with intent to harm, Whysnow did it while not knowing the truth and was not out to hurt anyone. Yes, he was probably too much of a cheerleader and indicated he had inside information, it was just inside information that was as false as the public information. And that certainly may have led folks to get in or not get out, but he did not intend to hurt others. So, not giving him a free pass, but, I think intent should carry some weight.

Ultimately it is Kevin who is the one responsible for the harm committed to so many. The role of Aaron is an interesting one, that gets very little discussion, if he left skit-b due to the realization that things were not on the up and up, he remains culpable, in my mind, since he did nothing to actually stop it. I have to assume the legal processes as determined some of what his role and responsibilities are, if any.

#12592 2 years ago
Quoted from merccat:

Annnonomous is a loose term here since we all are using usernames and not legal names but we'll say annonomous to a known username.

While this is true, the reality is a large percentage of the users true identities are known. Plenty here have no issue sharing their opinions, popular or not, with their identifies known, even if they use a screen name. We all know who Whysnow is in real life, anyone who spent a few minutes on this site looking at my posts would have no issue in figuring out who I am. Same can be said for most of those who are posting in this thread. Jeremy Wilson recently switched to his real name, after he posted something he felt bad about (and then retracted), but he also felt if he was posting something, he should have no issue putting his real name on it. Plenty of people knew his screen name, but I give him props for taking it one step further. I've posted a couple of things I regret, and I accept responsibility for it, and apologize when appropriate, that is what a mature adult does.

Sure, people can post anonymously, and some folks might have a legit reason to not want to share their name, but it certainly makes many of us think those who choose to be quite vocal and at the same time hide behind their screen name, have something of substance to hide. And there is plenty of history around here to support that.

#12769 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

and anyone of us that buys games can show you a cash withdrawal on a specific date in a 3-6 month period.

not everyone, since I tend to sell to buy, given limited space for machines, (plus the most I've ever spent on a pin is $3200 for a LOTR), I have probably bought my last 8 or 9 machines with the cash from the last sale and withdrew nothing from the bank. In addition, I don't think I could tell you on any machine I have, the month and year I bought or traded for it. I guess I could probably go back to pinballlife emails to see if there were specific parts I ordered to repair a machine, which might give me a close approximation as to when. Obviously we are not talking about a rare and controversially pins and in my cases and they were never that much money.

I suspect there are some guys here in cash businesses, where the money used for games never sees the inside of a bank.

3 weeks later
#13757 2 years ago
Quoted from maffewl:

Therefore, either A.) he didn't purchase, isn't lying, and doesn't need the 5th, or B.) he did purchase it, lied under oath (crime), and doesn't want to testify against himself, and the 5th applies.

You are forgetting about the "Middle truth" . . .

"I did not purchase her an RV" . . translates to . . . "I only gave her the money she needed to buy it"

1 month later
#14574 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Sounds like trustee likely clawed back some assets (the license agreement for EoD) and is trying to see if it is of interest to other pinball manufacturers.

Unfortunately most agreements of that nature are not transferrable and at this point kevin/skit-b would most certainly be in breach. If either JJP or Stern wanted to do that theme, they would just go direct to those guys and cut a deal. Not like the artwork that was done was getting great reviews. While I could be wrong, I just don't think there are any real assets there of much value tied to EoD. On the flip side, if Kevin was trying to sell off the rights, and since he was likely not allowed to do so, that could be his next bit of trouble.

2 weeks later
#14797 2 years ago

I wonder if the judge has any clue that the recordings of these court appearances are being listened to by dozens of people. That is certainly not a common thing.

2 weeks later
#15053 2 years ago
Quoted from CNKay:

when it gets sold off more funds are generated?

wonder what happens when the IRS steps into this mess, could they just come along and seize it. Can they supersede the whole bankruptcy thing?

#15167 2 years ago

probably back in the last dozen pages, but, since I am probably not the only person trying to remember, what is the next step/date of action?

1 week later
-2
#15386 2 years ago
Quoted from Mbecker:

No mortgage loans fix this,

She needs to pay back the money that was illegally diverted to pay for the house. She does not have to give the house back, she needs to give back the 28K or whatever it was. So, if she could find a bank willing to give her a mortgage for that house, on a floodplain, she could do that. Just hard to see any bank doing that when the collateral of the house has questionable value.

1 week later
14
#15585 2 years ago

her "house" is on wheels, I'm sure the address will be changing again shortly.

For a millisecond I felt bad for her, that her son would do this to her, but you reap what you sow, and that old website page makes it clear she was very much involved in this from the beginning. She was supposed to be the 'legal department', and certainly failed at her job if it was to keep them out of trouble.

Here is a tip, if you don't want a recording of you in court on the internet, don't participate in a scheme to defraud.

1 month later
#15990 1 year ago

I think Paul saw an opportunity to grow his business in a big way and overlooked the myriad of warning signs. It is true that at that point Kevin appeared to be on the up and up, as most folks were drinking the koolaid, but putting you whole business on the line requires a higher level of due diligence then putting money down on a Predator machine. Paul seemed to claim he had done that due diligence, but it certainly appears that was not the case.

As it said in the doc, Kevin told him he wanted 10 per day, and thus the reason Paul was growing to meet that demand (which then was lowered). The plan was for Kevin to set up shop in the same complex so the cabinets could easily be moved between facilities. It also said that Paul did require a deposit and then additonal payments and he did indeed spend some, if not a large chunk, of that money. His lawyer obviously hit hard on it was more than two years before the bankruptcy, so therefore was not tied to some movement of funds to hide it from bankruptcy.

To believe Kevin was ever going to 10 a day is somewhat laughable. Even if he could, why would he? and why would Paul go along with that? Assuming that could occur is a pretty risky thing and did he really think Kevin was going to gear up to that volume and be done in 5 weeks? Then want, you have this huge overhead and no work to do. Even with the announcement of EoD, there is just nothing there that makes you see a 10 per day need on any sustainable level. Heck, two cabinets a day, which he likely could have already done with his current setup, would have likely gotten it done.

As we have seen with JJP and Heighway, attempting to go real big fast, when there is more you don't know about the business then you do know, is a recipe for disaster. Just hard as a business guy to see how this huge expansion could have made sense for virtuapin.

I can understand why Paul feels he owes no money back, he took that money in good faith and spent that money accordingly (or so he claims). Of course, that assumes that what he is saying is truthful and he can show it was not a move to make illegal transfers. What is interesting is that while the counter claim has pages of Pinside posts, I don't recall seeing paper work on the contract with Kevin or invoices/receipts for delivery of product to Kevin, although there was talk of the receipts and payments for the CNC.

I am no lawyer, so I have no clue relative to what rights the estate has to money paid, well before bankruptcy, to a vendor. Although I would assume that unless he can show a contract with terms indicating these payments were non-refundable (which would not be unheard of in a situation requiring a business to buy equipment, expand, etc., and I have been involved in deals that have done that), then not sure he has a valid claim against refunding money paid to him for cabinets not delivered.

Obviously Paul is not helping his position in the community with what he is doing, but I get that he is trying to save his business. However, it appear that he may be doing just as much damage to his business and reputation with this action, then whatever damage has been done to his reputation as a result of the action against Kevin. Again, no lawyer, but seems hard to seen how he can prove the damage to his business was a result of Keith vs him choosing to get into bed with Kevin.

While Paul did not set out to be a part of the fraud, he made poor business decisions, and that does not relieve you have responsibilities and liabilities. Paul losing on this, could certainly result in his business declaring bankruptcy, so while he can blame Kevin for part of that, the big part of that sits on his shoulders.

16
#16391 1 year ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

we all believe they still have cash

Do you really believe there is still cash hidden some place? I'm far more inclined to believe it has all been dispersed, between the house, the trailer, arcade equipment, laptops for the kids, food, utilities, camera equipment, vacations, funneled to other people, etc.

While there may be some assets around that have value and can be recouped, hard to see a ton of cash sitting some place. The Kulek's don't exactly strike me as folks who would take spare cash and save it, more of the 'money burning a hole in their pocket' kind of folks.

1 month later
27
#16988 1 year ago

Last night started taking a tequila shot every time she said "I'm a Mom", and almost did not make it to work this morning.

Someone needs to explain to her that "I'm a mom" is NOT a get out of jail free card.

Her claims of 'all I did was bring food and give money', does not hold water when the website said she was finance and legal, she traveled as skit-b to shows, etc.

Her woe is me, is getting old. Nice to hear Keith call her out on the constant unfounded attacks on him. I do have to wonder does she really believe what she is spewing, or just trying to earn favor with the judge or maybe her mental capabilities have diminished to the point she does not understand reality from fiction.

1 month later
#17354 1 year ago

While I have no desire to go back and search, I'm pretty sure Kevin had posted a photo showing a significant amount of parts for doing a half dozen games or so.

2 months later
#17700 1 year ago
Quoted from benheck:

Regarding soda pop: In Wisconsin we say pop and anyone saying soda is a Minnesota transplant.

Grew up on the east coast and spent 20+ years saying Soda, been in the midwest for 30 years now and at some point, no clue as to when, I started saying Pop. My brother (still east coast) and sister (west coast) make fun of it every time I say it.

1 year later
#18176 5 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

Zero chance Kevin only built one of these.

Agreed, there is certainly more than 1. Whatever number of playfields that were made, is likely close to how many exist. Not sure if it was ever posted how many playfields were cut and printed. Not like there were a lot of custom parts on it, basically ball guides, plastics and the ramps. You also have to assume Kevin has one tucked away some place in hiding.

as far as the comment about this machine being 'legal' not sure there can be a truly legal machine given how he made it without the license and was sent a C&D from Fox on it. It may have been determined this machine could not be captured back to the estate for the bankruptcy and for the creditors, but I doubt that makes it legal per se, but I'm certainly no lawyer. I guess there is the argument it was a 'fan project', not sure that applies given the history of it.

It will give the arcade something to help draw folks in, so I guess that is a positive.

#18207 5 months ago
Quoted from cfh:

As far as making a game, it would be chore. no wiring harness was ever produced. and ramps would be tough (none were really ever made besides a couple prototypes, aka the "low wall" ramps, where the ball flew off the ramps.) it would be a hell of a lot of work. also you would need the programming code. Tim may have made a copy, but that's the only place (besides kevin) that probably has the code. i heard at one point it was hosted somewhere and could be downloaded?

The wiring harness is not that big a deal. Custom game builder have hand wired games without a harness. I have personally done it on two custom games as well as assisting on the three Houdini prototype games. It takes time, but it is certainly not a big deal for a game or two. I suspect the 6 or so wooly games were made by hand wiring and not a harness. Although if I was going to wire one of these, I would look to move off the switch matrix and go to the sw-16 boards (and P3-roc vs P-roc) since that makes wiring easier. It would require some minor changes to the game config/yaml file.

I know of at least one person who has the code base and assets and setup to run on an SBC. Not sure if it was the 'final' version (if there is such a thing). In addition, I'm 98.73% confident that the code on the drive has the plain .py files, so can easily be copied off and modified.

The ramps (and to a lesser degree the plastics) are the biggest challenge in someone making more of these with the playfields that are clearly out there, based on what Ben and others have reported/posted.

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