clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Accused Airbnb squatter: 'Would squat again'

New, 41 comments

The Kickstarter game developer accused of squatting in a Palm Springs, California condo and threatening to sue the homeowner, took to one of his Kickstarter pages Saturday night to post a bizarre message saying he would squat again.

"OK guys," Maksym Pashanin wrote in the forums for backed RPG Confederate Express. "What's the latest deets on the drama? 10/10 would squat again."

A woman rented her 600-square-foot condo to someone in May on a 44-day contract through lodging rental website Airbnb. But when the Airbnb contract ran out on July 8, the man staying there with his brother refused to leave, according to homeowner Cory Tschogl. Under California tenant law, the man has rights as a tenant after he stays in a home for 30 days. Airbnb told Tschogl that they would help her with legal support.

According to Business Insider, Tschogl said that the name of the person still staying in her home and refusing to leave is Maksym and that he listed his home address in Austin, Texas. A neighbor told a local television station that the man's full name is Maksym Pashanin. Neighbors also confirmed to the station that the man in a video for a video game Kickstarter is the man living in the home.

But Saturday was the first time that Pashanin himself has referenced the allegations, apparently admitting to them. Pashanin has not returned repeated calls to his or his brother's phones. Nor have either of them responded to emails sent asking about the connection and the status of both projects.

According to Kickstarter, Pashanin created two accounts, one under his name and one under the name of his business Kilobite.

According to state records in Florida and in Texas, Kilobite Inc. was incorporated first in Florida on Aug. 13, 2013, and then in Texas on Dec. 11, 2013.  The Florida records list Maksym Pashanin and Denys Pashanin as the principals. The Texas records just list Denys Pashanin. According to Whois records, Maksym Pashanin is the administrator of the Kilobite site, but the phone number given goes to a recording for someone named "Dennis."

More than a month after that self-defined release date for his first Kickstarter game, Confederate Express, Pashanin said that the studio he founded in 2013, Kilobite Inc., was undergoing a restructuring that delayed the game. As an apology he offered backers a reward pack for Knuckle Club, another game being developed by Kilobite. But there was a catch: Knuckle Club was also a Kickstarter game seeking funding, this time $25,000. And the current pledge is just $674 with 21 days to go.

Pashanin has posted 113 comments on Kickstarter, including Saturday's, using his named account. Most of those comments are relatively straightforward answers to questions and description of the game's mechanics and technology. Until Saturday's post, most were pleasant.

The only comment left through the Kilobite account, which was used to launch the Knuckle Club Kickstarter, was in response to the stream of increasingly negative comments from backers who worried about the legitimacy of the game and possible connection between its founder, Confederate Express, and the Airbnb squatter.

On July 17, one week after the Airbnb contract ended, the Kilobite account posted this:

"What an embarrassing witch-hunt."

We've reached out to Kickstarter to see if they are looking into the accounts and projects and will update this story when they respond.