Dragonfly Futurefön: the Biggest Crowdfunding Scam Revealed


The Verge

The Dragonfly Futurefön, starting from 2003 to 2016, created by Jeffrey Batio, raised up to about $5,700,000 but with no products ever delivered to investors as well as no refunds either, becoming the biggest crowdfunding campaign scam ever.

According to the Department of Justice, “The fraud scheme began in 2003 and continued until 2016. Batio originally sold membership shares in his companies and offered his products for advance sales that were never fulfilled. From 2003 to 2014, Batio defrauded victims out of $5 million. As the years passed and he failed to produce or license any products, Batio in 2014 began to solicit funds on the crowdfunding websites Indiegogo and Kickstarter. From 2014 to 2016, Batio raised more than $700,000 on Indiegogo and Kickstarter from investors all over the world by fraudulently promoting and selling the 3-in-1 device.”

This 3-in-1 device, the Dragonfly Futurefön, was a combination of a phone, tablet, and laptop meant to be sold at a price of $799. Information provided by from The Danzing Report showed the product featured two 7 inch Super AMOLED 2560 x 1440 touchscreens (one of which could detach from the base and be used as a mobile phone), two lithium-ion batteries, four cameras, 2.0 GHz Intel Core i7 Processor in the base, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Processor in the detachable phone, 8GB RAM (4GB in the base, 4GB in the detachable phone), 256GB SSD storage in the base and 16GB in the detachable phone, Bluetooth, wifi, 3 x USB 3.1 jacks, and could use both Windows and Android as operating systems. The Dragonfly Futurefön was a convertible, dual-screened notebook meant to dramatically simplify computing. The device was modular: able use both pieces separately, or you could plug the phone into the base and get a dual-display laptop that looked like two tiny netbooks.

On Friday, June 7th, 2019, Jeffrey Batio, in Santa Clara, California, was found guilty of all 12 counts against him, including six counts of mail fraud and six counts of wire fraud. Each count is punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer set sentencing for Sept. 3, 2019, stated the Department of Justice.

Although the information from the Department of Justice is a secured source of information, the comments on the product show that Jeffrey Batio’s hearing has been postponed for years and he still hasn’t undergone punishment. Updated about every month for the past 6 years, there are still many investors asking for refunds and lawsuits against the creator.