Josh Hoopes is a con man operating in the comics industry.
Over many years, we have covered his attempts to con publishers by taking assignments for small amounts of money, hire artists to do the work for him for large amounts of money and then disappear, leaving publishers believing they have work they have paid for and artists unpaid, not knowing where their art is until they see it in print.
Pretending to be an agent working for the comics industry and requiring people to pay money to hire top class artists for very little money
Pretending to be Art Adams looking for cover work (TokyoPop were stung by this)
Selling sketches purporting to be by Todd McFarlane and Art Adams (Mike Burkey was stung like this)
He tried to pally up with Rob Granito in what must have been a Bleeding Cool baiting scam.
We even caught him selling mechanical equipment from his place of work on eBay.
He is, to put it bluntly, a complete shit. We have an effect however, a relative who has now cut ties with him, told me how he used to use my name as a swear word. And we have managed to stop scams before the money has been handed over, thanks to our relentless hounding of the man. And we have managed to persuade Paypal to hand back thousands, though its still a drop in the ocean.
And now it seems he has moved industries, possibly to escape Bleeding Cool's attention, to gaming.
Posing as a young programer on DeviantArt, using the new pseudonym Tucker Doud and the user name locopens, Josh Hoopes replied to a jobs wanted advert for an open source game..
Which seemed odd as the listing was for a C/C++ programmer. Once Josh realised this mistake, he suddenly decided that yes, he was a C/C++ programmer. He found someone else's samples and used them as his own. He got a job for $200 down payment and $200 on delivery.
Hello. I saw your posting and am interested in the art job. Included is a link of my work for consideration. Please if you have any questions please ask. Tucker.D firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S I could do this job for $500 but am negotiable
He delivered some code but demanded full payment before sending it all - the payment was now going to a PayPal address for Josh Hoopes. The purchaser paid him without checking it. They then realised their error, they had just been sent randomly cut and pasted code from a completely different project.
At which point Josh Hoopes chose to cut any communication with the individual. DeviantArt's response was clear, they couldn't do anything and didn't seem minded to act against Josh.
Unfortunately it appears that your issue involves a private transaction with another member.I'd ask gaming website who have their own sources and lines of inquiry to keep an eye out for this man. He has taken hundreds and thousands of dollars from comic people, often those who can least afford it.
Because deviantART was not involved in the agreement between you, was not involved in the payment process or in the delivery of the goods involved we have no means by which to confirm any of the details in this transaction and because we cannot confirm any of the relevant details we cannot intervene here.
When you enter into an agreement of this nature with another member you must assume all responsibility as deviantART is not in a position to moderate any disputes which may arise so we cannot assist you with this issue; you will have to either continue to resolve this yourself or simply accept the loss.
In either case I hope that you will be more cautious in the future; we can always offer you some friendly, non-legal, advice on the matter if you ever find yourself wanting to enter into another private transaction in the future.
It looks like this is not an isolated case, "Tucker Doud"'s deviantArt page is full of people calling him a scammer...