Four-Year Investigation Into Kingdoms of Amalur Dev Results in No Criminal Charges

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  1. News Bot

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    Rhode Island State Police and the state's attorney general announced today that no criminal charges will be filed as part of the four-plus-year investigation into the 38 Studios deal.

    During a press conference on Friday afternoon, State Police Colonel Steven O'Donnell described an indictment as a "life-altering event" and suggested that just because something is a bad deal doesn't mean an indictment should be filed. This was echoed later by Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, who also said he and those working on those process "share the frustrations of all Rhode Islanders when it comes to the entire 38 Studios episode."

    38 Studios famously went out of business in 2012 after receiving a $75 million loan to move to Rhode Island. This loan was backed by Rhode Island taxpayers, and there have been allegations that investors were defrauded.

    The federal government previously concluded an investigation that determined the 38 Studios deal hadn't violated any federal statutes. Rhode Island's investigation continued, but as explained today, "[T]he quantity and quality of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration."

    Kilmartin said he believes most Rhode Island citizens have faith in the investigation, but acknowledged that some skeptics will loudly doubt the findings.

    Civil suits, as well as fraud claims filed by the SEC earlier this year, are still pending. The attorney general could still consider findings from those cases and facts that may still be discovered, but the state's active investigation is inactive for now.

    The 38 Studios collapse began when owner Curt Schilling was unable to keep up on debt payments to the state of Rhode Island for the aforementioned $75 million dollar loan. After that, the government assumed ownership of the company and shut it down. The government then filed a lawsuit against Schilling and other architects of the state's loan to the studio.

    At an auction in December 2013, 38 Studios properties Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends were purchased, but Kingdoms of Amalur and the MMO Copernicus were not picked up. Subsidiary Big Huge Games, which was closed amid the 38 Studios bankruptcy, was resurrected by co-founder Brian Reynolds.

    In September 2015, the Rhode Island Superior Court released thousands of documents and deposition transcription excerpts pertaining to the loan agreement.

    We'll have more on the situation as it develops.

    via WPRI

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