Rights?! This is a privately owned website, if they have "probable" cause they can ban whomever they want! A simple google search of his name brings a criminal record and hundreds of posts (some from here) written by countless artists that were ripped off by him. Guess who's connected to that name? crazypens. Don't give me this double-talk rhetoric, it doesn't hold up.
As for my end, the cops are max attentive to my situation and are actively pursuing this guy. However in the mean time, my efforts here to have him banned before he rips of more here (which he's still doing) is not only valid, but justified. DA should ban this guy, period and no platitudes regarding the "rules & regulations" will change the obvious need to do so.
I'm sure dA can ban whomever they want, but this sort of thing usually leads to more trouble and would be detrimental to dA itself. Since it's their website, they can choose not to ban anyone, unfortunately. Either way people will complain, but they will obviously want to protect their interest first so they choose the action with less collateral damage.
As far as I can tell it seems you're more upset that dA's not doing anything about the guy than you are from the fact you've been scammed. And still, I don't see the point of banning the guy. Exposing him is obviously necessary, and you have done that. You've also alerted the police, and I hope they'll get the guy. But banning the guy from this forum will only make him take up a different persona/IP/etc and continue doing what he does. As far as prevention and justice is concerned I don't think dA can do anything much about it, so I just hope that the police can do something about your case.
"Unfortunately private transactions are completely at the risk of the people entering into them.
deviantART is not directly involved in any private transaction and because of that we have no way to verify and of the agreements or whether or not any particular event did or did not occur; because of this we cannot intervene in or attempt to enforce any private transaction between two people.
No one is asking them to "intervene in a transaction", just ban a member that's using his account to cheat hundreds of members through their system. Their not listening, and that's the major problem here.
As mentioned in the post before you, they don't have any way to verify that the guy is cheating so they can't just ban him. It may be obvious to most people but it needs to be proven first, basic rights and all that etc.
Plus, there's plenty of ways to avoid a ban if you're determined enough. The best thing to do is make the community aware of the fraud (as somebody else previously said, it's easier to spot an exposed fraud than a banned one using a different account), and heed the basic advices in conducting safe transactions.
If you're seeking retribution then gather up all the evidence you can get (e-mails, contracts, whatever) and approach the relevant authorities. If you had simply handed over your money without any paper trail then there's nothing much anyone can do.
If this josh hoopes guy is indeed guilty, then he should be dealt with accordingly. There's all sorts of pictures that I've drawn from pictures that I looked at, but I never would say that I'm the one who originally created them. That's just dumb as hell.