Peachy Printer launched on Kickstarter back in September of 2013. It claimed to be the world's first $US100 ($136) 3D printer and scanner, and raised $651,091 CAD in backer money. Now Rylan Grayston, the company's CEO, claims that his co-founder David Boe embezzled nearly half of that money, and used it to build himself a new house.
The house that Kickstarter money bought. (Image: Peachy Printer Kickstarter page)
According to the company's website, where Grayston is publicly airing his grievances, the problem arose because of poor financial planning.
Due to the fact that the Kickstarter campaign was over before Peachy Printer existed as a corporation, we did not have a corporate bank account set up to receive the funds. As a result, David's personal account was set up to receive the funds.
Uh.. right. Essentially, Grayston took it on trust that Boe would transfer the backer money once a corporate account was set up. Shockingly, after being handed a huge sum of money, Boe kept most of it for himself after an initial transfer of $US200,000 ($271,790).
Grayston claims he became suspicious of Boe, ousted him from the company, and got him to sign an agreement that would serve as an admission of guilt and a promise to repay the stolen funds. Boe has allegedly made repayments of $US107,000 ($145,408) so far but defaulted twice on other payments back to the company. In the interim, Peachy Printer has run out of money, as stated in a Kickstarter update. According to the website post, Grayston's lawyers recommended he not contact the authorities about Boe's actions. Because why should a guy who stole corporate funds be held accountable?
If backers of Peachy Printer weren't already rightfully suspicious, Grayston trotted Boe out to give a video update on the situation, which he claims was filmed well in advance, and was intended to be uploaded only if Boe failed to make payments.
The close-ups on Grayston and maudlin piano music prompted commenters to jump to a few conclusions: that the interview with Boe was scripted, or worse, that the entire Peachy Printer venture had been a scam from the get-go and both men were in on it. Grayston addresses this on the Kickstarter page.
What if this whole thing is a scam?
I fully expect that some people will think this is just a big conspiracy, but if that were true do you really think I'd be asking you to write to my local police? After looking at all the evidence, if you still think this is a scam - I encourage you to report that to my city police:
I know I've done my best to act in the interest of the backers, and I'm confident the investigation will find that to be true.
It's unclear what Grayston hopes to accomplish by getting local police involved, other than avoiding legal action by backers or possibly shaming Boe into paying back money he may or may not still have.
We contacted Grayston and will update if we receive a response.