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Kickstarter suspends accused Airbnb squatter's game project

One of two Kickstarter projects created by accused Airbnb squatter Maksym Pashanin has been canceled by Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter for Knuckle Club, a game being developed by Pashanin's studio Kilobite Inc, was canceled about 1 p.m. ET today. It had 85 backers who had pledged $921 out of a requested $25,000. There was 14 days left in the Kickstarter. The money pledged to that Kickstarter will not be given to the project creators.

The Kickstarter for Pashanin's other project, Confederate Express, remains active. That fully-funded project, which brought in nearly $40,000 from 2,386 people has not been canceled. Once funded, the money for a Kickstarter project is already in the hands of the creator.

Kickstarter officials declined to comment on either project.

Pashanin drew national attention this month when he took up residence at a Airbnb condo in Palm Springs, California and then refused to leave or, according to the owner, pay rent. He also threatened to sue the homeowner.

This weekend, Pashanin dropped in on the forums for the Confederate Express Kickstarter to post an antagonistic message to his increasingly concerned backers.

"OK guys," Pashanin wrote in the forums. "What's the latest deets on the drama? 10/10 would squat again."

He has not responded to any of the comments in the forums for either game since nor has he responded to requests for comment from Polygon left on his Kickstarter accounts, email and cell phone.

A woman rented her 600-square-foot condo to Pashanin in May on a 44-day contract through lodging rental website Airbnb. But when the Airbnb contract ran out on July 8, Pashanin and 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.

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

While Kickstarter declined to comment on the suspension of Knuckle Club, the site's frequently asked questions section says that a project can be suspended if their "Trust & Safety team uncovers evidence that it is in violation of one or more of Kickstarter's rules."


Those rules include misrepresentation of support, through self-pledging and misrepresentation or failure to disclose relevant facts about the project or its creator.

While homeowner Tschogl hasn't updated the page to track the issue with her Airbnb rental, a search of court records show that Pashanin had a similar run-in with a San Francisco hotel in 2008.

In 2009, Salim Shaikh filed a complaint with the county of San Francisco saying that Maksym Pashanin and his brother Denys Pashanin checked into the Sonoma Inn on June 14, 2008 under an oral agreement that they would pay $225 a week to stay there.

On March 13, 2009, Shaikh told the brothers they had to pay $2,700 in past due rent, which was due every Saturday, or leave the hotel, according to the complaint. The brothers had not paid rent since Dec. 20, 2008, according to the filing.

The brothers failed to show up for the court appearance and in April the judge ordered that two had to leave the hotel and pay the money owed.

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