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The firm behind Kickstarter’s greatest injustice faces state probe

The Coolest Cooler, an amazing picnic aid featuring a Bluetooth speaker, USB charger margarita mixer and bottle opener, is perhaps the prime example of a crowdfunding hero turned villain.

The company behind the project raised a then-record $13 million in funding, but despite the product currently being sold on Amazon, thousands of original backers are yet to receive their rewards or refunds.

To cut an epic saga short, Coolest burned through all the money and is having to sell in stores in order to make enough cash to be able to provide the rewards.

Needless to say, that explanation hasn’t gone over very well with those who are still out of pocket, so the Oregon Department of Justice is looking into the Portland-based company.

As reported by The Oregonian (via Engadget), the state is looking into possible violations of the Unlawful Trade Practices Act, according to a spokesperson.

Over 315 complaints have been made, department spokeswoman Kristina Edmundson.

Coolest has declined to comment on the report.

Back in April, founder Ryan Grepper further enraged Cooler-less backers by claiming they could have one delivered if they forked over another $97.

Grepper, whose mistakes appear genuine rather than malicious or fraudulent, has received death threats. Let’s hope this investigation ends amicably with backers getting their coolers and everyone learning a lesson about too-good-to-be-true Kickstarter campaigns.

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