Recently, Bleeding Cool exposed the latest identity of serial comics industry conman, Josh Hoopes, as one Samitra Banks. And, in the process, manages to save at least one person from commissioning work from this fictitious identity.
Josh Hoopes poses as a single mother with a five year old daughter in need of work and showing plenty of artistic skills – even if those artistic skills are taken from other people's websites. Hoopes' modus operandi is, if commissioned for work, to commission others to do that work, not pay them, keep the money and disappear.
He's usually used DeviantART and the like to find his victims, but now it appears he has moved onto Kickstarter. Such as this appeal to fund a super-hero roleplaying game, with the following credits,
That entry has now been deleted and a new update added,
Thanks to one of our new artists for viewing the Kickstater and noticing that 'Samitra Banks" was listed.
Samitra Banks came to us in January with a portfolio and was hired. Like in the article I am about to link, "she" claimed to need a bank-to-bank transfer for payment and didn't use PayPal. That hit a flag with me, but I've dealt with that before with freelancers who simply do not like PayPal and won't use it.
Fortunately, Ms. Lunsford had flags go up, and didn't pay. She did go to the bank, however, and discover that the MetaBank routing number did not match anything in the Wells Fargo database.
Samitra then wants us to use NetSpend to transfer money, which, when investigated, showed to be MetaBank.
So, when the first artist took the video money and didn't produce, Samitra said she could get it done in 5 days with money upfront. Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me.
No, money wasn't sent. We played the "NetSpend Card" didn't come yet deal. But we did say we needed to see progress, even low-rez files. After 11 days of nothing, we're written that "her" 5-year old spilled ink all over the boards (apparently, "she" assumes we'd believe all the samples were draw and colored by hand . . . like I don't know digital coloring) and would have to bow out. But, if given a chance, would continue for the book art with no advance payment, now.
So, just now I am sent this article: https://bleedingcool.com/2014/02/26/comics-conman-josh-hoopes-returns-posing-as-samitra-banks/ by one of our new members.
And yep, the linked Photobucket is the exact website.
In the 8-years I have been in RPGs, all I can say is congrats. You almost got me, and no one has ever been able to get that close to doing so.
Since "Samitra Banks" also falsified the contract with us, and is using MetaBank to run the latest scam, Ms. Lunsford is also sending all relevant information to the FBI this week.
Have a nice day.
I encourage this to be shared. Warn others.
Lee F. Szczepanik, Jr.
No, this doesn't affect production. I have plenty of artists, and can replace this one very quickly if need be.
And that's why we'll keep running these kind of articles…