NEW YORK – A campaign to raise money for a Kobe beef jerky business turned out to be a fraud, according to news reports.
Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site, shut down a campaign for Kobe Red beef jerky that raised $120,000 from more than 3,000 backers. Kickstarter stopped the campaign minutes before it was scheduled to end after other Kickstarter users and a documentary team raised concerns about the venture. On Kickstarter, project creators set a funding goal and a deadline. People can pledge money toward projects they like, but projects much reach their funding goals to receive any money.
The company behind the alleged fraud, Magnus Fun promised to deliver jerky made from Japanese Kobe beef. The company attracted suspicion by not following best practices recommended on the site, such as posting personal information and including photos and videos identifying themselves. A team making a documentary called "Kickstarted" raised additional concerns about Kobe Red. In a blog post on its website, the documentary team related in detail
what they uncovered about Magnus Fun and the Kobe Red project.
The team wrote: "...at this point it's clear that Kobe Red Beef Jerky was the biggest outright scam in Kickstarter history. As we began to post some of these details this morning (ed. note: June 13th), the team at Kickstarter entered the picture. They suspended with less than an hour to spare, thanks to the ongoing message board discussion and suspicions of ourselves and other backers. Magnus Fun, your good times are over."