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Comics Conman Goes After Roleplaying Game Kickstarter

| 11 Mar 2014 01:58

A con artist who has been scamming comic book artists and publishers out of money for over a decade tried to con an RPG on Kickstarter.

The Daring Comics Role-Playing Game, a superhero RPG powered by the Fate system, had a close brush with a real life supervillain - Comic Con Man, who nearly scammed the publisher out of money with a dastardly plan that has worked on countless victims in the past.

Facetiousness aside, the con man is allegedly one Josh Hoopes, operating under the false identity of "Samitra Banks." Hoopes - or rather, "Banks" - was commissioned by lead designer Lee F. Szczepanik, Jr. to do some work on the upcoming Daring Comics RPG, now on Kickstarter. Banks approached Daring Entertainment in January with a portfolio of work that turned out to be stolen from various artists and claimed to need a bank-to-bank transfer for payment rather than PayPal.

Anna Lunsford of Daring Entertainment and creator of the Kickstarter campaign became suspect and investigated Banks' routing number, which didn't check out. Banks asked for a portion of the payment to be delivered up front, but Daring asked to see progress first. After 11 days, Banks finally replied with an excuse as pathetic as "the dog ate my homework," claiming that her five-year-old spilled ink all over her work.

It was then that one of Daring's new members informed Szczepanik of Josh Hoopes, scoped out by vigilante investigator Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool. For over a decade, Johnston has been chasing this white whale of a con man in an attempt to thwart his efforts. Hoopes has allegedly been using various pseudonyms over the years to scam small comic book publishers and fledgling comic book artists.

Unlike Hoopes' countless past victims, Daring Entertainment's story has a happy ending - not only did the company narrowly avoid being scammed, but Lunsford has sent "Banks'" falsified contract and bank information to the FBI.

Hoopes would have gotten away with it, if not for those meddling kids...

Source: Kickstarter

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