A proposed class action seeks refunds for roughly 2,000 individuals who bought tickets, sponsorships and travel packages to the Massive Adoption in Memphis: Blockchain and Digital Assets conference that defendant Jacob Kostecki preemptively canceled in January 2020.
The 19-page case says the conference, after being rescheduled from November 2019, was slated to be held February 27-28, 2020 at the University of Memphis. Ticket buyers were promised package deals for airfare, top-tier lodging options and party rates ranging from $300 to $400, which was material given roundtrip air travel alone cost more than that before the pandemic, the suit says.
Though the defendant promised to post the first wave of Massive Adoption refunds no later than February 29, with the entire refund process slated to take six months, Kostecki has now refused to deal with the issue until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, the lawsuit says.
According to the complaint, Kostecki, after taking attendees’ and sponsors’ money, canceled Massive Adoption on January 31 due to “cash flow problems and lower than anticipated ticket and sponsorship sales.” During the last week of January, however, Modern Consensus published a report highlighting that speakers, attendees and promoters began pulling out of the event once details of Kostecki’s “dubious past” came to light.
In a series of screenshotted tweets included in the complaint, Kostecki claimed to be “working things out while navigating this crisis” and reaffirmed he would personally repay those who bought tickets or sponsorships to Massive Adoption. In that same series of tweets, however, Kostecki also shared he would be happy to address consumers’ concerns “post Covid 19,” the complaint says.
In all, the case describes Kostecki’s failure to issue Massive Adoption refunds as part of a larger pattern of unsavory behavior spanning “several alleged scams, convictions and trouble with the law.”
“Defendant Kostecki’s offer and sale of tickets, sponsorships and travel packages for the Massive Adoption event were rife with misleading and misrepresentative material statements and omissions of material information, and involved breaches of binding agreements,” the complaint charges.