Maksym Pashanin and Denys Pashanin
The man refusing to leave a Palm Springs, California, condo rented through Airbnb has been involved in a number of other questionable activities, including a Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $40,000 but hasn't delivered the product.
He appears to regret nothing, telling Kickstarter backers that he would "squat again."
Maksym Pashanin had a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 for a video game called Confederate Express that raised $39,739 back in November from nearly 2,400 people. He had promised an estimated ship date of June 2014 but has yet to deliver the game.
In response to questions about the game and his refusal to leave the condo, Pashanin wrote on Saturday, "Ok guys, what's the latest deets on the drama? 10/10, would squat again."
Verifying Maksym Pashanin's Identity
When Business Insider first reported about the squatter last week, condo owner Cory Tschogl told us she suspected he was using her condo as a home base to run scams. She believed this Kickstarter campaign, done in conjunction with his brother, Denys, also staying at the condo, was one example.
At that time, we were unable to confirm that the squatter was the same man who created the Kickstarter game. Our emails to Pashanin were unanswered and his phone number refused to take messages.
Since then, neighbors of the condo have confirmed the identity of the squatters, thanks to Palm Springs CBS reporter Samantha Cortese, of KESQ News.
The neighbors say that the men pictured in a YouTube video promoting their game Confederate Express are the same ones living in the condo.
They have seen the men leaving and returning to the condo.
"He is free to come and go as he currently has tenants' rights," Tschogl tells us.
Although Pashanin's 44-day Airbnb reservation ended in mid-July, and he only paid for 30 days of it, Tschogl is being forced to go through the full legal eviction process due to a California law in which people who rent for 30 days can sometimes be considered month-to-month tenants.
Research on the Pashanin brothers shows this is not the first time they've had run-ins with California landlords. In 2009, the San Francisco courts evicted them from a San Francisco apartment after they stopped paying rent, court documents show.
And in 2012 Maksym Pashanin sued his landlord for $10,000 over noise from "ongoing construction" in the backyard. The judge dismissed the case and Pashanin moved out.
Kickstarter Outrage Grows
As of today, Pashanin has still not delivered the Kickstarter-backed game.
In the meantime, the brothers, through their company Kilobite, launched a second Kickstarter campaign for a new game called Knukle Club. That campaign is live now, but it has only raised $854 out of the requested $25,000.
Pashanin told backers that Confederate Express was delayed because of the "restructuring" of his company. He said investors wanted to buy his company Kilobite but wanted Knuckle Club finished first.
Many people who contributed money to Confederate Express are posting angry comments on the Kickstarter website.
This is unbelievable. ... all you have to say to the people who gave you nearly $40,000 in good faith is "10/10, would squat again." ...
I'm disgusted that even a portion of my time on this Earth has gone towards you and the things that you do. I demand my pledge back, credited on the same account that I paid with. And if you're not going to do that, give it to Cory Tschogl for all the trouble you've caused her. ..
Hundreds of others have left comments as well.
Banned And Not Banned
Some backers are also demanding that Kickstarter step in and take action. Kickstarter had no comment on either of these campaigns except to point us to its Trust & Safety page, which says that people who donate money to projects should "do a little research first" on the creators before trusting them. It also says that it watches for abuse of the system and will suspend users or projects.
It's too late to suspend Confederate Express. Once it met its fundraising goal, Pashanin was granted the pledge money. Given the publicity around Knuckle Club, it seems unlikely that the project will meet its funding goal. If it doesn't, no one who has backed it will be required to pay.
As for squatting again, Airbnb tells us that Pashanin and his brother won't be using an Airbnb rental to do it.
"These individuals have been permanently banned from using Airbnb. We have a number of technological tools we use that prevent individuals who have been banned from our community from using Airbnb in the future," Airbnb spokesperson Nick Papas tells Business Insider.
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