Then used it to buy Bitcoin
Serial crowdfunder Douglas Monahan will face court, accused of misusing more than $800,000 raised for a hi-tech range of backpacks to buy Bitcoin $BTC▲1.76% and pay credit card debt.
The US federal trade commission (FTC) also claims Monahan threatened hundreds of consumers to silence criticism. He’s alleged to have told one investor he knew where they lived, while promising to sue to others for libel and slander.
“Despite missing the delivery date for the iBackPack, Monahan started a second crowdfunding campaign in March 2016 via Kickstarter to produce and distribute the iBackPack 2.0, an updated version of the still-unproduced original iBackPack,” said the FTC.
Court docs state Monahan’s company, iBackPack of Texas LLC, began raising funds to develop the ‘iBackPack’ through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo in 2015, and by November 2016 had raised over $720,000.
Contributors were promised specific products depending on the amount invested. Those who gave $169 were told they would receive an iBackPack that included a Bluetooth speaker, various batteries, and some cables.
The campaign for iBackPack 2.0 again promised additional features to those who invested more money. Contributors pledging more than $299 were to receive an iBackPack 2.0 with in-built WiFi functionality.
The second campaign finished in April 2016, having raised more than $76,000. During this time, Monahan is said to have raised another $11,000 with two additional Indiegogo campaigns.