I don’t think they are necessarily scammers (ie misled people about this plan all along), though I certainly understand that view.
What this does is demonstrate the centralised nature of the Storj, and the danger of this for anyone investing/helping to build it. When there is centralisation, it creates opportunities and temptations to exploit that position.
MaidSafe have periodically been accused of things because they also hold a position of power, although I’m confident that they would not be tempted in this way and would do their utmost to carry out their plans as presented. They are always very open when things don’t go to plan and do their best to carry the community with them, and to ensure the interests of investors are proteced. I’ve seen this more than once.
I’m also reassured by MaidSafe’s repeated attempts to decentralise development, and the knowledge in the code. I see them trying, partly succeeding (using remote developers, offering code bounties for a time), and also not managing to do this (pods we started but there wasn’t enough funding to support them). And then trying again now they have more funds. But none of that would be of value if they couldn’t get the network proven - which they are confident has happened just recently .
It’s clear that it is a very hard thing to decentralise development of such a difficult project when you have very limited resources and must keep delivering the project as the highest priority.
What Storj appear to have done here is on the face of it shocking, but I can imagine it was either for a compelling reason, or they succumbed to some temptation. It is up to them to explain what they’re doing, why, and how they expect investors of different kinds to be affected.