Fyre Festival Under F.B.I. Investigation In Addition To Several Lawsuits
The disastrous Fyre Festival and its primary organizers and creators, Billy McFarland and Jeffery ‘Ja Rule’ Atkins, are now under federal investigation for possible mail, wire, and securities fraud according to the New York Times. The investigation is being conducted by F.B.I., the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, and is being overseen by a prosecutor with experience in complex frauds and cybercrime.
The festival, originally planned as a two-weekend excursion in late April, at first appeared to fall apart at the last moment, when concert goers showed up to find an unfinished and unready festival site. McFarland and Atkins quickly blamed a storm that had blown through the Bahama’s earlier in the week. But now, with the investigation under way and McFarland’s business history coming to light, it seems the festival was never meant to be ready in the first place.
Much like many of the employees and contractors McFarland has hired for past endeavors, those working on or with the Fyre Festival, and it’s parent company, Fyre Media, have yet to be paid all of what they are owed. Even when they were paid, the money wasn’t very well documented and was often short, according to the Times.
While Atkins has publicly pronounced his innocence, saying that if any crime was committed, it was only “false advertising,” McFarland has stayed silent. Even on the day of the disaster, when guests were being flown into the location not ready for them, Atkins was the only one to speak up and apologize.
“I truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT … but I am taking responsibility I’m deeply sorry to everyone who was inconvenienced by this,” the rapper tweeted at the time. Meanwhile, McFarland, who was on the island, hid from festival goers.
In addition to the federal investigation, McFarland and Atkins have been hit with multiple lawsuits claiming fraud, breach of contract, among other offenses. One lawsuit is for $100 million.
As of now, seven different lawsuits have been filed against the Fyre Festival and Fyre Media.
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