Man I was leaving mass feedback for participants in my last break, Snowboy - who sold his spot - was last on my list since he was first to leave me feedback as he exited the break. Only then did I see his negatives - which led me here.
I really hope first and foremost that everyone gets their money back here. I'm interested to see how PayPal handles this "empty account" scenario. What I do know is if you used your bank account or credit card - you should be able to go straight to your bank and reverse the charge, dispute its validity, or place a stop payment and the money will be right back in your account.
I've been a victim of local eBay pickup and subsequent chargeback at the buyer's bank. I had spent all the money, which left me with a -$500+ balance in the red, and resulted in my account being frozen and sent to third party collections when I refused to pay. Paypal can't control a disputed claim charged-back by your bank, they will be out the money if they can't recoup from the scammer.
Secondly, considering the circumstances, I would certainly be extremely worried that I was scammed, or the host is dead / incarcerated / hospitalized / kidnapped. I surely understand "innocent until proven guilty", but in this day and age, there's no excuse - including sick family - that should be acceptable for not typing ONE post when over $4000.00 of other people's property is entrusted to you. As group breakers, there is an absolute and implied responsibility to at least let people know what's going on if you are humanly physically able.
Aside from a life threatening situation preventing him from using a cell phone or typing a 90 second message from any computer terminal (or LOCKUP RAW), actions seem to dictate he's taken off with everyone's money. If this was indeed a scam, he's already withdrawn this money long ago, and probably won't care about his credit being destroyed after PayPal reverses his withdraw.
Hopefully he shows back up, I'm pulling for him and everyone, this is just a crap situation for all of those that were involved. Good luck to all