The world’s worst festival promoter could potentially face 20 years in prison.
One of the founders of Fyre Festival, tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland, has been arrested on fraud charges.
As the New York Times reports, federal prosecutors arrested McFarland in New York on Friday (June 30) with one count of wire fraud after allegedly defrauding investors in Fyre Media, the company behind the festival.
The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon Kim explained that McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to encourage investors to pour over $1 million into his company and the disastrous Fyre Festival. “Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, McFarland will now have to answer for his crimes,” said Kim.
Fyre Festival was scheduled to take place on a private island in the Bahamas at the end of April. It was packaged as a luxury getaway, promoted by supermodels including Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, but soon devolved into chaos when thousands of ticket holders – some of whom had paid up to $12,000 for a ticket – arrived to find what they likened to “refugee camp conditions”.
The organizers – McFarland and Ja Rule – were subsequently hit with a number of massive lawsuits. In May, it was revealed that Fyre Media was being investigated by the FBI for possible mail, wire and securities fraud.
Ja Rule has not yet been arrested. His attorney, Stacey Richman, told the Times that she did not “perceive him to be a subject of this investigation.”