Continuing on from my first article that has been published exposing Jane Whittaker as a fraud I will move on to his time at Keystone Games as well as his own company, Blue Sock Studios. These are the most recent dealings as far as Whittaker is concerned when it comes to fraudulent dealings, but in some cases they can also be looked upon as some of the more disturbing things he has tried to pull.
I have recieved various emails from people who had dealt with Whittaker during his time at Keystone Games, some of whom are more than happy to be quoted and their names used, some would rather remain anonymous at this point in time. I will fully respect these individuals wishes with any quotes used as I hope you will understand.
Keystone Games is where I first discovered Whittaker myself; I was contacted by him offering me a chance to do Voice Over in a game the company had in development, Homicide Detective. Of course, at the time I jumped at the chance but at the same time was very sceptical that a development company that no one had heard of was approaching me to work on their game. I accepted the chance but also started to search the internet for traces of Whittaker be it under the name Andrew or Jane. I found very little information other than one small article saying that Whittaker had worked on Alien vs Predator as lead coder (we all know this to be a fake claim made up by Whittaker now). Alarm bells started to ring at that point that someone as prolific as this person who is leading a team of developers has no internet trace; unbelievably rare in this day and age. This coupled with my better half having a sixth sense about people and warning me that something was off about the whole thing should have made me walk away at that point, but it was my dream come true so very cautiously went along with everything.
The idea of Keystone Games was that it would support the Over The Wall charity, one set up specifically for helping children with disabilities and was Kevin Mathieson‘s charity. Mathieson was part of the Keystone board of directors at the time (and still is according to companies house) and Over The Wall initially funded Keystone with the idea that selling a game would create a greater revenue than was initially laid out. Before Mathieson became the CEO of Over The Wall, he was a Chief Police Officer, so his credentials were certainly sound enough. All this being said, I honestly dont believe Mathieson had any idea of what was going on behind the scenes as far as a scam was concerned until it was too late.
Whittakers approach when seeking staff was simple; he would recruit as many disabled/physically handicapped people as he could (although it is strange to note that it was only ever females) enticing them in with the whole ‘charity’ spin (Over The Wall obviously being close to heart for so many). Once they had been brought on board he would use photos of them showing their physical disabilities on social media platforms to gain interest from people and then tell them he would have to ‘let them go’ using an excuse along the lines of no funding available to pay them.
All along Whittaker had another company running in the background by the name of Blue Sock Studios. After a couple of months of me being a part of the team (I will get to my personal roles later) the entire team was left confused as communication from Whittaker stopped dead. He had apparently left Keystone and moved the developers over to his own company to continue work on Homicide Detective but not let anybody else know. There was no explanation to anyone that had been brought in to do Voice Over or even to other developers who were using Keystone Games to publish their own games.
Over 10 months, the developers continued to work on Homicide Detective under the umbrella of Blue Sock Studios but with no pay as well as no official contract which they continually asked for. Whilst with Keystone, they were receiving a wage. Whittaker always using the excuse that money was on its way and he was about to secure an investor. Reports have come through that in all the time the team worked under Keystone Games, they were paid for their time but Whittaker was hoarding money in a separate bank account so he did have the means to pay the team, just didn’t and always had some excuse to give the hard working team. Toward the end of the 10 month period an investor did pay a reported £150,000 to Whittaker and Blue Sock Studios who at this time wishes to remain anonymous. As soon as that money was paid over Whittaker along with money he had hoarded from Keystone ran from the project with £200,000 leaving everyone confused and screwed financially. To this day, that investor is still seeking to reclaim his money.
Some of the development team came close to facing bankruptcy after this time. 10 months of empty promises that money was coming and they would receive a back pay kept them onboard, yet not being able to meet mortgage payments or being able to do food shopping every month was obviously tough. One person did nearly have their house repossessed due to defaulting on the mortgage! By the end of that time, Homicide Detective was only ever about 10% complete; a title that was never going to hit the shelves as it was all a front. Most assets that were used (eg Tower Bridge in London) were bought assets that anyone can get their hands on online. It was only at later dates that developers realised the reasons they were having so many issues working on these scenes and implementing the impossible tasks demanded of Whittaker; those paid assets wouldn’t work well alongside Unity development as they were never designed to be fraudulently used like that.
To try and simplify things as far as Keystone Games and Whittaker’s excuses are concerned, a timeline would work better than my rambling I think. It’s pretty straightforward..
November 2016 – November 2017: Keystone Games were solely working and focussed on Homicide Detective.
February 2017: Mike Laws promised a raise and promotion. Other staff promised similar in the following months. They are still waiting for this promise to this day. Also this month Whittaker kept stating that Keystone had just received a massive investment injection and were about to open multiple studio’s; this of course never happened.
December 2017 – February 2018: All the staff were moved over to Blue Sock Studio’s with little to no notice and Whittaker defrauded ** ***** out of £150,000 for the contract agreed. February 2018 that contract was terminated by the other studio in question as they found out Whittaker could never deliver anywhere near what he had promised. This company are still fighting to recoup that sum of money.
February 2018 – July 2018: Whittaker kept promising the staff that work was coming in from various companies including Lego. None of the deals ever manifested to more than empty promises
That was the financial fraud that Whittaker had pulled. All of that money and very little ever went to Over The Wall charity, yet Whittaker being in charge of all of the Social Media feeds would always tell people that the company were working for charity and donating to them.
My role was simple; I had been ’employed’ by Whittaker to Voice a lead character in Homicide Detective. I was told that as the game was for charity I wouldn’t be paid for my work on the title, however I was promised work on games that were also in production by the team. It turns out that screenshots that were being shared about a separate title known as Safari Park Manager were screens that Mike Laws had worked on for Homicide Detective. The game was never going to happen, but he was happy to tell the world lies as well as making the same promises of future work to every voice talent he had brought on board.
My issue was the false claims being made by Whittaker on Social Media; I was being marketed as a Hollywood actor which I have never claimed. Yes, I have worked in the acting industry, but mainly as part of indie movies. I was always waiting for some form of lawsuit to come in on one Twitter post which claimed I had worked on The Walking Dead (and cannot find now), but was happy to let them continue using my image to help promote the game and gain interest. I was oblivious at that time to the bullshit Whittaker was pulling.
I wasn’t affected anywhere near as much as most of the other team however. I didn’t lose out financially as there was never any finances promised to me, I was happy with the charity idea. At the time I was grateful for the chance to do the work and as far as I was aware there were future plans in place for me to be paid at a later stage. I’m sure that the Voice talent that had been employed after myself had all been given the same empty promises as well.
During my time at Keystone Games I had one phone call from Whittaker. It was a call that lasted close to 2 hours welcoming me onboard, giving me a background of Keystone Games as well as Whittaker himself. Of course, all of the stories of his time in the game industry came out that we now know to be false, yet the biggest laugh I got from that call was his claim to being best friends with Bill Gates (yes, THAT Bill Gates) and the fact that one of the solicitors that were part of the Keystone makeup was a personal advisor to Gates. Sorry, but even then I wasn’t fool enough to fall for the utter crap that was spewing from his mouth, I just nodded and smiled in the right places giving the occasional half arsed, ‘Oh wow, really’? when needed so as not to upset him and keep my position within the team.
Some people did actually meet him in person, and this is where his fraudulent claims of being a Siamese Twin and being disabled with fused legs come to light more.
I received an email from Stevie Laws, wife of Mike Laws who worked on Homicide Detective, a wheelchair user herself due to having Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). Needing the wheelchair as it is too painful on her body to even walk short distances.
I first met Jane in February 2017. He had invited Mike and myself to visit. Just to add I did not work for Jane when we visited. I recalled Mike had told me he was also disabled (something wrong with his legs/lost a leg I can’t recall exactly) as was his wife.
The restaurant he invited us too had no disabled parking but was just about accessible inside. I admit during the meeting I was looking at his legs to try and see his disability, I did not like myself for doing that but I couldn’t help it when he had made himself sound so physically challenged previously. Also while at his house tried to note the mobility aids that were around, there was one power mobility scooter by the door, covered in dust.Quote from Stevie Laws
Whittaker has been great at faking that he is disabled himself in recent articles that he has had published online with regards to his industry history and how he was born a Siamese Twin with his legs fused together. Here are a sample of some messages he sent me from the start on Facebook Messenger..
His house he invited us too after, the entrance he brought us in through was not wide enough for my wheelchair but he didn’t offer another option. So to not cause anything awkward I managed to walk a few steps through the entrance as Mike folded up my wheelchair to bring it through. (*This is important later).
There were a lot of red flags that popped up in that meeting, but this was my husbands boss, who in the process of meeting him had offered Mike a big promotion we were both excited about, I did not want to ruin anything.
I didn’t get involved until late April 2017. The UI artist that had been hired wasn’t working out so I offered to help because this company was making this game for disabled children and I could easily help out by making a few icons in my spare time around my job, unpaid .
Jane liked my icons a lot and offered me a job, I told him that I wasn’t really a UI artist and I had just wanted to help but I couldn’t turn him down. As a disabled person, working for a disabled person to help disabled children I jumped on it.Quote from Stevie Laws
I signed a Blue Sock Studios contract when i joined not a Keystone Contract like everyone else on the team. I don’t remember what reasoning for this was given.
During working my input was not taken seriously, for example the Homicide Detective Logo I was asked to create one day. I explained Logos were not my thing but I would try, after a week of work to get a logo everyone liked I got a message from Jane saying that actually we were going to go with this logo another member had designed.
I was annoyed at the waste of my time but fine, not my decision. However this logo had american police tape displayed on it, I replied that since it was a game set England we should change it to the Blue english police tape. I was actually scared by the reply when it was shut down so publically in the team Chat. That I knew nothing and the police experts on the game had told him that they used yellow tape in england etc.
I knew he was wrong but he made me look and feel small amongst my co workers so I never brought it up again and just added the logo to the title screen.
Digging in to Whittaker lately has brought up some very worrying questions as a team investigating. He does seem to enjoy dressing up part female, which there is nothing wrong with, but the worrying part is that he has a fascination if not a kink for little girls socks (hence his username in various online forums being “LittleGirlSocks” as mentioned in the first article) and has used images of disabled people for Keystone wearing socks over their amputated limbs as well as no doubt keeping them on his own hard drive.
I**** was employed for a very short period of time before disappearing but we were all told that she liked to wear socks over her limbs and Whittaker stated, ‘So, this is the last time I will say hands in relation to I**** as per her request please just call them baby socks in conversation. Not hands, not arms or anything else other than baby socks’. This alone is creepy to say the least, but when you look at I****’s instagram, there isn’t a single photo of her wearing socks like in the above photo.
He would also message me personally to talk about various things. After my birthday in October I had uploaded some photos to my facebook and he messaged me to ask about my odd socks I was wearing. As a wheelchair user I don’t wear shoes and I wear odd socks because honestly who has time to pair them.Quote from Stevie Laws
We also talked about how we were often misgendered in the doctors office, ‘Stevie’ is a predominantly male name and ‘Jane’ is a female name. So often we would be called Mr or Mrs wrongly, although he went on to point out to me he had lady parts anyway and that lots of doctors found that even more confusing.
I was just confused as to why my boss was telling me these things.
He then one day sent me a photo of a leg stump inside a princess sock (I think you know the one) [EDITORS NOTE: Image to follow after this quote] to say they were his favourite socks to wear and I remember panicking thinking how on earth am I meant to reply to my boss about princess socks without annoying him. and then after I finally thought of a random reply I calmed down and realised I had seen both his legs when we had met him, and unless prosthetics come with amazing realistic leg hair that was not his leg.
I remained confused but me and mike would say to each other (increasingly often) “Ignore it we’re being paid”
Now, whats more worrying is that as our investigations have progressed, in the last month we found an online forum (GodLikeProductions) and found Jane lurking using the image under the username of “Janey”. Looking through the numerous posts by Janey the lies told are the same crap Whittaker has told everywhere. The worst of all however is that they claim to be a female quadruple amputee losing all 4 limbs to an IED as a Counter-Terrorism officer as well as a 747 pilot and has a Phd in AI programming. Now, forgive me for stating what is probably obvious to everyone, but even in this day and age of equal opportunities would anyone employ someone of that severity of disabilities to fly a commercial Boeing 747 being left in charge of hundreds of lives? I’m not entirely sure who believed all of this in the first place without question, but now people are questioning him and are disgusted with the lies that have been told. One post by Janey did even admit to being Jane Whittaker.
He also used this forum to spread word of a fundraiser he has been doing for at least the last 4 years for a disabled child by the name of Rosie Davies. This has been a constant in Whittaker’s fraud constantly collecting donations. We have been told that in all the time that this has been happening, Rosie’s family have only ever received one payment of money donated and it wasn’t even close to what had actually been collected. Looking at Whittaker’s history it looks like he was using this as yet another way of making money himself.
To conclude Stevie’s E-mail..
A few months later a games industry article came out about Jane he linked it to all of us after it was published. I read it and I felt sick. It mentioned me not only by my full name (which I had never given permission for) but outright lied saying I was a paralysed wheelchair user. (Remember I said before I walked in front of Jane?) It also lied about my previous employment.Quote from Stevie Laws
I was horrified but I did not want to contact Jane to ask about it. By then the job was too important to mike and myself, that promotion was always just around the corner for Mike and the possibility if I pressed too much we might both lose our jobs was high. So I put it to the back of my mind and convinced myself that it was the journalists fault, maybe he assumed? after all he had never contacted me to check it was okay to print my full name.
In December 2017 the team was told that Keystone had run out of funding and the team would be moving to work on a game with ** Everyone would be getting Blue Sock contracts for this, Mikes would be his promotion/raise amount when he switched contracts, Okay great! He had been waiting for 10 months at this point, we didn’t ask any questions.
In February 2018 one day everything was fine then the next there was suddenly no money left. I was ill at the time so I was not in the skype call when everyone was told we were essentially fired.
Me and Mike had both lost our entire household income overnight. We had savings but not having been able to prepare as we should have, had our contracts been fulfilled (30 days notice), it was a massive struggle.
I found work at a call center, Mike stayed ‘working’ with Jane. Just incase this new project he was talking about- Emmett was real, because if it was it would be a great job and Mike was way more qualified to stay than I was. We didn’t trust Jane at this point but the project itself looked legitimate and he only seemed a small part of it.
I would go to the call center and just pray Mike would get that message from Jane saying the money had come in for them to start work on Emmett so I could just roll out the door and quit.
My physical health suffered horribly because of the stress. My condition is heavily affected by it. As a mild example of health issue I developed I don’t mind talking about I broke my foot in May 2018 and it only just healed in this last month.
I broke my foot but I still had to go to work two days later to pay the bills, because of Jane.
I think by now you can guess or even see the mass fraud that Whittaker has been pulling over the years and has continued to do up until the last month or so when his world finally started to crumble and people are now coming forward with the truth about his claims.
Keystone Games also pledged that they would publish Indie Developers games, but that is for another article to follow with regards to Rogue Islands and other titles with quotes direct from the developers.
I would personally like to thank Stevie for both contacting me and allowing me to quote her personally. I know this couldn’t have been an easy thing to do reliving those awful memories.
If you have any dealings with this fraud, please feel free to email us
His claims within the industry from the last 35 years are now starting to be proved to be a huge web of lies
We interview @PeekDevils on Puzzleverse for @Keystone_Games