At the start of the Arist Kickstarter campaign, a famous and highly advanced Danish Coffee company named Scanomat wrote on the KS comments page that Arist had violated their intellectual property by ripping off their mobile app and graphics. Benson loudly claimed that Scanomat was just jealous because they couldn’t compete on price. However, he quietly changed his plagiarized content. Here are side by side images.
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New Timeline Feature
Let’s be honest, it’s hard to keep up with Benson and Nelson’s [alleged] lies. That’s why we built this exciting timeline page! Go back all the way to the beginning and relive the excitement for the first time.
The World cares about the Arist Scam
AristScam.com has become wildly successful beyond anything imaginable when the domain was purchased 4/11/15. Alexa rankings show we are way more popular than the AristCafe website. I’ve enjoyed looking at the analytics of who’s been visiting this website, and I thought I’d share a snippet with you. But first, take a look at this graph of Arist creator posts on Kickstarter. This website, and the impact of your viewership and action made an impact!
Benson Cheats at Kickstarter Launch
Previously, we released information that implicated Benson in a scheme to game his Kickstarter launch as well as control the comments section with false-positive comments. Upon request we’ve decided to release further evidence of these claims (included screen shots at the bottom).
The main reason that someone would want to inflate sales like this is to catch the eye of the media and to gain a “Staff Pick” badge. Although this isn’t illegal behavior, it certainly isn’t honest, and what’s worse is that once again Benson has been caught lying.
When this information was originally released Benson categorically denied all such claims and said publicly on April 29th:
Some of you have come to many conclusions due to rumors, speculation, and some so called source information. They are easy to believe in as you are quite frustrated with misleading information that was not provided by us. But I am confused as to why some of you will find it believable. For example:
1) Launch Party. Yep, we hosted one and friends and family came to show their support. They are all real pledges, and no refunds were made. Kickstarter already assumes you will do your own promotions to increase exposure.
Well folks, here is some additional evidence pulled from a private WhatsApp group chat proving, at very least, Benson shouldn’t be trusted.
Arist’s Next Update May Make or Break this Project
We understand that you’ve already applied for three patents and you shipped 1,000 Arist machines in July 2014. Congratulations!
For the next update, it would be great to have more concrete information:
1. How long will the milk stay cooled for?
2. We understand that a few baristas have received Arist machines in July 2014. Can they make short 20 to 30 second videos introducing themselves and where they’re located? People would love to hear about their favorite parts of the Arist and it’ll inspire a ton of confidence. Low-quality webcam videos would be perfectly fine.
3. Can you introduce your engineering team, their background and what part of the Arist they’re responsible for?
4. Can you show us copies of the three patent applications, including your name and the date of filing on it, but with the confidential and proprietary parts blacked out?
5. Did you receive financial support from the Hong Kong government? What kind of financial support did you receive?
6. What medium did you use to sell the 25,000 units? Which, if any, retailers have placed purchase orders? What countries do they reside in? What is your future plans for those markets?
7. Did you reject any press from viewing your machine? It seems like only mainstream non-technical press were allowed to view your machine. Why?
8. We read from SCMP that you needed to use screwdrivers and a pencil to tune the machine to produce coffee. How many reporters did you need to do this for? Why? Is this a standard part of operating your machine?
It’ll be great to learn more about your team and efforts. We don’t think any of the above is confidential, and this will rebuild trust in your company.
Reference : SCMP article (dated on May 19, 2015)
[Updated with Letter 2] Benson threatening me with a lawsuit, and asks me to take down this website. Threatens me by mentioning my mother! Disgusting.
To allow our Lawyer to forward you a Legal Letter, I just want to confirm your contacting address as the following:
If this is not the right one, please reply us the way to contact, otherwise we will have to defer this work to our lawyer on looking up your contacting address.
I personally don’t want to take this into court, but as I have to take the right action to report to our investors committee due to your action, I have no choice to take legal action against you in person. Unless you will remove all information within 24 hours that has been posted to AristScam.com from any publicly accessible channels (i.e, Internet, radio channels, TV channels .. etc), we can reconsider the option of not to take this legal action.
In addition, We have the record of Ms — making the pledge payment from your Kickstarter Account, I just want to confirm your relationship with Ms. — that she is your mother, and —– is her full legal name.
All information has been recorded and copies has been make to file this claims.
As you have decided to ignore our advice, you give us no choice but to defer this case to our lawyer. From this point onwards we will not contact you personally any more.
Just my final message to you as a friend since I know you are being influenced. I hope by now you understand those anonymous sources are using your identity to spread false allegations of a defamatory nature, which is illegal. I know who they are and they could have said all these themselves, but instead they chose you because you have given them the opportunity to do irresponsible things that can lead to legal issues. And now, you will take all the blame because you have become the scapegoat. These are false information that you have been spreading as if they are true.
Maybe many people around you are comforting you by telling you not to worry, but this is your own issue, not anyone else’s. We have a confirmation of your information already. You will receive our legal claim shortly. To be honest, I didn’t want to have to do this. I have tried to explain it to you already before.
[Updated with FBI, Canada contact] How to get an Arist refund and contact authorities!
Benson and Nelson Chiu do not respect you, but we do.
We have to stand together or else Benson and Nelson will profit from their massive fraud. Even if they refund each of their vocal critics, they will still walk away with hundreds of thousands of dollars of backer money.
Write on Kickstarter, and keep writing:
Benson and Nelson, we saw the refund procedures listed on www.AristScam.com and will keep asking for a refund until you have offered us one. Please give me a refund.
Even if Benson and Nelson decide to refund 100 vocal backers, they’ll still be walking away with $807,739 in profits. Plus, they have Hong Kong government money.
After you receive your refund, comment here, or join our facebook group so that we can build a community and bring justice to the Chiu brothers.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Please stand together and e-mail [email protected] with the following:
Benson and Nelson stated that they qualified for the ICT award because they shipped 1,000 Arists back in July 2014. (http://startupbeat.hkej.com/?p=17198)
However, according to this site, Benson and Nelson were still modifying an existing Jura coffee machine as of July 2014. (http://aristscam.com/brazen-benson-bragging/) (http://aristscam.com/arist-ripped-off-mobile-control-of-a-coffee-machine-from-a-2012-youtube-video/)
Please revoke this reward immediately to avoid further disgracing Hong Kong.
Backers of the Kickstarter Scam, Arist
Worldwide do this:
1. Go to www.ic3.gov.
2. Click on “File a Complaint.”
3. Read the terms and click “I Accept.”
4. Fill out the form.
Report the alleged crime to the on-line shopping website you dealt with (kickstarter, and Amazon)
If you’re in the US do this:
Please contact the Washington and Illinois attorney generals through these linked forms.
If you’re in Canada do this:
Report to the RCMP. [Benson and his brother allegedly have family in Toronto.]
1. Contact the police service of jurisdiction in your area.
2. Report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by going to their website or by calling 1-888-495-8501.
[Updated with KS comment] Arist silencing vocal Kickstarter critics by refunding them!
Update 1: Dax reached out to KS which replied “Kickstarter cannot issue refunds, so this refund must have been issued by the creator.” See comments below.
Benson and Nelson Chiu have decided to silence the opposition. They have refunded about 10 of the most vocal critics on Kickstarter. By doing this refund they are preventing us from posting on the comment section. They had hoped that they would be able to just make us disappear and make it look like everything is going great.
Benson then claimed on the comment thread that it was not him doing a refund, but perhaps Kickstarter itself. Another flat out lie.
Below is a screen capture of my refund clearly showing “Arist Inc.” refunded me because “Customer is requesting for refund”.
Brazen Benson Bragging
If you want to see Benson brazenly bragging about how he’s modding [read plagiarizing a Jura youtube project] then check these photos out from mid July 2014. Here’s more proof that: (a) There wasn’t an Arist sent out to 1000 people handbuilt in July. (b) This project is plagiarizing a youtube video.
Loans in Hong Kong
The only, currently documented, government money that Benson has received is a Micro Business Startup Loan, which is up to HKD 300,000 upfront and repaid over a period of up to 5 years. They were featured in a promotion book under the name Garffee (p.64).
It is unlikely that Benson and Nelson Chiu recieved the Innovation and Technology Fund [which is a 1:1 matching fund]. There is a public online database where there is no known mention of nBition, Arist, Garffee, Benson/Nelson Chiu.
Hong Kong Legislative Councilman asks questions about ICT and Arist!
Councilman Christopher Chung Shu-kun has opened a line of inquiry into what is emerging as a bombshell Arist and ICT scandal. See his letter here. Translation follows.
Continue reading Hong Kong Legislative Councilman asks questions about ICT and Arist!
Arist allegedly shipped to 1000 baristas around the world last July! Ludicrous claim casts doubt on ICT Award.
Newly discovered: Benson and Nelson Chiu told HKEJ and PC Market that 1000 machines were assembled by hand and shipped back in July of 2014! How ludicrous is that?
Continue reading Arist allegedly shipped to 1000 baristas around the world last July! Ludicrous claim casts doubt on ICT Award.
[Updated] Arist ripped off mobile control of a coffee machine from a January 2012 Youtube video!
UPDATE: Not only did Arist rip off the entire project they also ripped off the software used in the video below. Blogger Samiux details that the protocol used by Arist is found here.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: a man uses a smartphone to control a superautomatic coffee machine. Tags on the cups allow the machine to remember what settings he likes.
Continue reading [Updated] Arist ripped off mobile control of a coffee machine from a January 2012 Youtube video!
Arist 1.0 machine is really a Jura
A close analysis by Dan_R of KS has pulled back the curtain on shocking new details of the Arist.
As speculated previously NBition did not build a new machine, they modified a Jura such as the X5, Z5 or Z7. This is highly unethical because in the promotion video with “Evangelist” Julian, they passed off the Frankenmachine as their own. The picture on the right shows a real Jura with the back taken off. They are the same (minus the black box on top of Arist 1.0).
Information on how to contact legal authorities
Lets start with a fact: things don’t add up about Arist. Even if you are optimistic about a finished product, we need to report Arist to our local attorney generals so that they can take investigative action.
Previously, the Washington attorney general and Illinois attorney general were taking action against Kickstarter campaigns that defrauded their users.
Please contact the Washington and Illinois attorney generals through these linked forms.