BOULDER — A class action lawsuit has been filed against Boulder-based blockchain marketer and consultant Jacob Kostecki, alleging he defrauded about 2,000 ticket holders and sponsors of an ill-fated convention this year.
Kostecki was the promoter behind the 2020 “Massive Adoption in Memphis: Blockchain and Digital Assets” event, which was scheduled to run Feb. 27 and 28 at the University of Memphis. The event was originally scheduled for November 2019 but was delayed to February of this year.
The complaint filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Colorado alleges Kostecki offered round-trip airfare and lodging packages at a relatively low rate of $300 to $400. On Jan. 31, he published a blog post canceling the event due to lower-than-expected sales and intended to refund everyone by July.
However, the complaint alleges Kostecki pocketed the funds and isn’t refunding as promised, saying he told customers that he is delaying refunds until the ongoing COVID-19 crisis ends.
The complaint is seeking to recoup the costs of buying tickets or sponsorships for the event, along with legal fees for filing the suit.
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts on Twitter lambasted the event’s collapse using the hashtag #cryptofyrefest, a reference to the infamous Fyre Festival that promised a massive music event at low cost and delivered an organizational debacle, costing investors $26 million in the process.
Kostecki has a history of aggressive behavior in the realm of startups. In 2016, TechCrunch reported stories of Polish entrepreneurs claiming Kostecki had offered them consulting help but later used non-disclosure agreements and threatened their intellectual property to get his way. He told the technology publication the allegations were mostly true.
Kostecki also appears to have an active warrant for arrest in his native Poland issued in January.
In a statement, he told BizWest he disputes the claims in the complaint.
“I do not agree with the allegations put forth in the lawsuit, believe there are many errors in the document and look forward to my day in court,” he said.
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