Star Citizen – Interstellar Pirates

Main Star Citizen – Interstellar Pirates

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  • #1517

    dsmart
    Keymaster

    My new blog is going live in the AM. It was finished but at the last minute, something came up that legal needed me to source.Once you read it, you’ll see why.

    By the time I got around to doing that, it was already late and I was busy with other things.

    The blog will go live at this link tomorrow morning at 10AM EST

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  • #2163

    dsmart
    Keymaster

    This first appeared as a section in my Interstellar Pirates blog. I needed a link directly to that section, hence this post.

    THE GIZMONDO MONEY LAUNDERING CONNECTION

    Five of the six top execs at this company, Chris Roberts, his brother Erin Roberts, their lifelong friends, Nick & Simon Elms (brothers), Derek Senior – all from Manchester – through their previous company Warthog, were associated with the Gizmondo money laundering operation that was busted worldwide a few years ago.

    Simon Elms, now the CFO of Foundry 42, was also the CFO for Warthog which was bought by Gizmondo and becameGizmondo Texas. Gizmondo had previously bought Tiger Telematics which was used as the entity company to purchase Warthog.

    Nick Elms is also reported to have been investigated by the UK FSA back when he dumped Warthog shares, thus crashing the share price, when his brother was CFO of that company.

    As the story goes, Gizmondo was a money laundering front for the Swedish Uppsala mafia headed by Swedish Gangster named “Fat Steve”. Along with his partner Mikael Ljungman, they bought the company. Simon Elms was the CFO for Gizmondo since the begining and he was also director of several companies, including Virtual Poker (of which both Simon Elms and Erin Roberts were officers). That company was quietly dissolved in early 2008, while Gizmondo went bankrupt later that same year.

    It gets better.

    Swedish newspapers (such as this one see translation) reported that, among other things, the crooks who founded Gizmondo were previously involved in various illegal activities. Those included distributing counterfeit money, blackmail, extortion and assault. And the icing on the proverbial criminal enterprise cake is that they were debt collectors for the Swedish underworld aka the Uppsala mafia. I kid you not. Here is the partial rap sheet for these charmers back then.

    Stefan Eriksson, Executive Director at Gizmondo Europe, was previously convicted to five years in prison in 1993 for planning to distribute counterfeit money. He got another five years for trying to defraud financial institution for approximately $3 million.

    Peter Uf, also a director, was previously sentenced to almost 9 years on similar charges as Stefan.

    Johan Enander, head of security at Gizmondo, had been convicted for blackmail and aggravated assault.

    Later in 2009, Mikael went to jail for various financial crimes and Carl Freer was being investigated by the FBI on RICO charges.

    The whole thing was so freaking outrageous, that not even the US media back in the day could believe it. Here is one such accounting. Which brings us to the crashed Ferrari that was seemingly the final act that got everyone busted.

    Fast forward.

    Warthog, which was in financial trouble, was bailed out by Gizmondo to become Gizmondo Texas. Eric Peterson (remember him?), was made head of global studios, while Erin Roberts was studio manager of Gizmondo Manchester, along with Simon Elms. The company was supposed to have been working on various casino games which were to be released for the Gizmondo device. These are games that were reportedly never going to be released, since the device was nothing but a pipe dream. That company was dissolved before this was all publicly known.

    After it all collapsed, Simon Elms later went off to Cubic motion and Nick Elms and some other guys set up Embryonic studios. Erin showed up at some point. Embryonic was later bought by Travelers Tales. Erin and Nick were there for awhile, until Chris showed up with a bag of money and asked his brother and his band of merrymen to join him on his epic quest for loot: that being the pipe dream that was to become Star Citizen. Chris then built his brother a brand new, multi-million dollar studio, Foundry 42; and gave him Squadron 42 to develop.

    After I pieced this all together a few weeks ago and tweeted that I was working on a blog about it, someone else decided to do the leg work and wrote a pretty good synopsis of the whole thing and which also links all these four people to a massive international money laundering operation. It’s as crazy as you’d expect. But let me quote that person’s closing statement.

    In the end, it is all hearsay. People in the industry work with each other all the time. Bad projects happen. After all, it isn’t everyday a charismatic con man and a sociopathic leg breaker go into the videogame industry. Chris Roberts would surely want to bring people he’s familiar with onto his project. Though as time wears on and deadlines are missed and where the budget is being spent obscured, the comparisons to Gizmondo become hard to ignore. With the way things are going, we might see Chris Roberts sitting next to a crashed sports car, blaming a mysterious German for everything that went wrong.”

    In 2006, Wired magazine also wrote about this fiasco.

    Gamers have given this outstanding group of people over $94m to build a game. And four years later, there is still no “game”. And thus far, nobody has a clue where most of the money went.

    There are those who are saying stupid things like; well they have over 200 people working, that’s where the money went. The only response that I could muster for anyone making this stupid claim? You’re an idiot.

    #1731

    johnny canada
    Participant

    I think it is important to remember that one man is not going to take the project down by writing a blog, if the project fails, then the project was doomed already. This means that it is wrong to be angry at D Smart for pointing out concerns.

    #1730

    Anonymous

    Derek,

    Another curious question, would you actually ever want to work on Star Citizen? If so, what capacities would interest you?

    #1614

    MDrake SC
    Participant

    Kristoffer S: Just to get the fact straight?

    CIG has totally ignored my ticket for 3 weeks and I’m a Grand Admiral. You do not value your $1,000 like I do my $2,500. I expect a product and not a dream. Chris Roberts repeatedly used dates, and missed every single one of them. That is on him. If he never put a date on the project or refund policy in the Terms of Services 1.0, I would have never backed.

    CIG is ignoring the Terms of Services 1.0 that I agreed to. Don’t remember when I last actually logged into Arena Commander on my own account or PC. I have no interest downloading a minimum of 24 GB every 2-3 patches.

    The last Steam Summer Sale I bought Strike Suit Infinity for $1.97 and played 45 min. Submitted a refund ticket on help.steampowered.com later in Sept and got my $1.97 back to my steam wallet in 8 days.

    Steam may be slow as hell, but they actually do refund. CIG is ignoring large customers and even raises eyes when some refunds are sent from Twin Bros. GmbH, Ortwin’s company. If you don’t find that fishy and suspicious, you are not someone I can take seriously.

    #1612

    Anchorite .
    Participant

    Amir,

    I’d love it if you could provide the link to that GIF again. I found it hysterical, and wanted to share it with friends.

    Thanks

    #2385

    dsmart
    Keymaster

    List of Star Citizen related corporate entities


     

    1. Cloud Imperium Games Corp, West Hollywood, CA
    2. Cloud Imperium Games LLC, West Hollywood, CA
    3. Cloud Imperium Services, LLC West Hollywood, CA <– The one is interesting. It is found on BBB, but is not in the CA Secretary Of State dB records
    4. Cloud Imperium Games LLC, Santa Monica, CA
    5. Cloud Imperium Games Texas LLC, West Hollywood, CA
    6. Cloud Imperium Games Texas LLC, Austin, TX
    7. Cloud Imperium Games UK Limited, UK
    8. Foundry 42 Limited, UK
    9. Foundry 42, Germany
    10. Gemini 42 Entertainment LLC, West Hollywood, CA
    11. Gemini 42 Productions LLC, Santa Monica, CA
    12. Roberts Space Industries Corp, West Hollywood, CA
    13. Roberts Space Industries International Limited, UK
    14. Twin Brothers Production Inc, West Hollywood, CA
    15. Twin Bros, Germany
    #1732

    dsmart
    Keymaster

    In case you missed my Tweet earlier today. Foundry 42 UK have filed their accounting. It doesn’t look good. They’re low on cash.

    And that number you see as them being owed money, is probably from funding since the company doesn’t have anything to sell which would lead to them being owed money.

    #1615

    Kristoffer S
    Participant

    I apologise if my comment sounded condescending or offended you, that really wasn’t my intention at all!
    I was merely pointing out that CIG has pretty much the same refund policy as Steam officially has – NOW! But that’s only for new backers, not for us OB. And unfortunately it’s the OB’s that are feeling most let down at the moment. I do hope you get your refund, no one should be a backer if they don’t want to!

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