Sometimes the risks play out to be true, and all but the most deliriously optimistic must by this point accept that their money is gone. Very sad, but it is also part of the risk/reward aspect of participating in crowd funding initiatives. This is standard practice for wealthy or aspiring to become wealthy people, never risk your own money, you risk other people's money instead. The risk is your reputation, but tragically it is easy enough for the less ethical to rehabilitate their reputation and move on. It is a big world and often memories are short.