Many Lord of the Rings Online fans are well acquainted with Chance Thomas. While not the only composer for the MMO, his work on Shadows of Angmar, Riders of Rohan, and last year’s Mordor expansion put him in the rare category of name-recognizable MMO composers. Thomas had been working for the sound company he founded — but it sounds like that is now over due to some shady practices.
On a Facebook post, Thomas revealed that the sound studio’s parent company was involved in a ponzi scheme that ended up taking down that company and all those under it — including Huge Studios.
“Two days before Thanksgiving, my job was taken away,: Thomas said. “So were the jobs of dozens of friends, peers and associates. Some have already shared the story publicly. The company I founded in 1998, HUGEsound, which eventually became HUGE Studios after being bought by a larger holding company, has been closed. Several other companies, each operating under the same umbrella corporation, have also been shut down. All of this dismantling came as the result of a $170 million Ponzi scheme allegation against the man sitting at the top of this corporate structure. The accusations are thoroughly outlined in an SEC filing, publicly available on the Internet.”
The culprit of this event was Dean Rust and his company Rust Rare Coin Inc. He is being investigated for defrauding “at least 200 people of more than $170 million since 2013.”
Thomas said that while the loss and hurt has been devastating, he is hewing toward forgiveness as an alternative to depression or hate. “We all lost our jobs, we lost wages and benefits, and the incredible things we had been building — the stunning studio we launched, the top-notch team we assembled, the unbelievable clients we were working with, the creative results we were outputting — all went away in the blink of a judge’s eye.”