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South Bend gaming and comic convention cancelled, police investigating mishandling of funds

By Ted Land
Published On: Feb 24 2014 04:28:06 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 24 2014 10:20:53 PM CST

Police are trying to figure out if someone embezzled funds from a group which planned to start a comic and gaming convention in South Bend. WSBT's Ted Land has the story.

Police are investigating the possible embezzlement of funds meant to help bring a gaming and comic book convention to South Bend.

SBPD Capt. Phil Trent confirmed the investigation, which was launched after organizers of River-Con learned that money to help pay for the event was missing.

River-Con, which was modeled after the popular Comi-Con conventions held nationwide, was scheduled to be held April 19th at the Century Center in downtown South Bend, but has since been cancelled.

“Everyone will be fully reimbursed, which includes both Kickstarter donations and payments for vendor spots,” read a post on the River-Con Facebook page.

Kickstarter is a website where people can pledge money to help fund projects.  A page for the one-day River-Con event states that 93 backers pledged $4,000. They set a goal of $2,000, the page states.

“We have decades of retail experience handling sales, organizing, and running events,” organizers wrote on the Kickstarter page.

“We'll do everything we can to stay on top of it and keep each one of you updated as we move forward. We want this to be the best all around gaming experience for every attendee, so that this becomes a yearly event,” it said.

A statement posted on the Facebook page of the South Bend Gaming Association, which was involved in planning River-Con, said that on February 12th the group received a letter from its former president stating that “I have embezzled $1,300.00 of the SBGA’s funds.” 

Board members subsequently contacted the South Bend Police Department, and via Facebook directed anyone seeking reimbursement to contact police.