Maybe this has been addressed already in this thread and I missed it. But wasn't CGC/PPS supposed to be holding the deposit money, not the distributors? I found the following in the "MMR FAQ" on PPS' website:
Q: When and how do I have to pay?
A: There is a $1000 deposit required for the MMR that is placed with the distributor who then forwards that $1000 to PPS to constitute an ordered game. Deposits are refundable in the event for any reason the game is not produced. The MMR LE Deposit is refundable up thru the point at which WMS approves the game (expected end of 2013), at which point the procurement of parts for the game occurs. For the MMR STD, a deposit received will determine where in the production sequence the customer is to get their game (deposit received to PPS, which customers must request that any distributor insure that their deposit has been forwarded to PPS), as well as to insure that there is a valid order for the game. The customer is then reponsible to pay the balance due to the distributor for the game,1-2 weeks before the game is ready to ship.
So is the story that Twisted Pins took $1,000 deposits from buyers ~ three years ago, but never reported it to CGC/PPS? I.e. Twisted Pins just kept their deposit money knowing from day one that no game would ever be made for that buyer since the manufacturer didn't even know they'd placed an order? Did Twisted Pins forward the deposit money for some orders but not others to CGC/PPS (we know CGC/PPS was aware that Twisted Pins existed since it was on their distributor list from day one -- presumably CGC/PPS expected at least a few orders to be placed through Twisted Pins?). Or did CGC/PPS decide for some reason to deviate from this policy when it came to Twisted Pins, and let them keep the deposit money for some/all orders? And if so has that ever been explained? I thought PPS' intention in structuring the deposit system this way was at least in part to avoid another debacle like the WOZ/failed Australian distributor thing.
I get if Twisted Pins customers are avoiding conversation on this while contemplating a lawsuit, but I hope at some point the role CGC/PPS played in all of this can be clarified.
[EDIT: Another possibility just occurred to me, which is that maybe Twisted Pins forwarded the first $1,000 deposit to CGC/PPS, but then later demanded additional installments and kept those. Of course that would go against the "remaining payment due 1-2 weeks before shipment" part of the FAQ, but if CGC/PPS didn't know that Twisted Pins was doing it, would help better explain the situation.]