Categorized | National News

Fyre Festival Organizer Charged with Fraud

The promoter behind the failed Fyre Festival music event was arrested last Friday in New York on a wire fraud charge.

Billy McFarland was charged with scheming to defraud investors in his company, Fyre Media, and Fyre Festival that was supposed to take place on the island of Exuma over two weekends in April and May.

The Fyre Festival was billed as an ultra-luxurious event with headliners including rockers Blink-182 and the hip-hop act Migos. But performers bowed out and organizers were forced to cancel the show.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said McFarland presented fake documents to induce investors to put more than $1 million into his company and the failed festival.

Kim said McFarland “promised a ‘life changing’ music festival, but in actuality delivered a disaster.”

An attorney who has represented McFarland did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

McFarland and his partner, the rapper Ja Rule, already face more than a dozen lawsuits filed by ticket buyers and investors in the festival.

A lawsuit filed in May in Los Angeles said the festival was “nothing more than a get-rich-quick scam” akin to a Ponzi scheme.

Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, has not been arrested.

After spending the night at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, McFarland was released Saturday (June 1) on his own recognizance and the promise of a $300,000 bond.

McFarland appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Fox in an hour-long appearance on Saturday afternoon at the U.S. Court for the Southern District of New York.

Fox demanded the bond be secured by $50,000 in cash or personal property, and be co-signed by “two financially responsible persons,” according to a Department of Justice spokeswoman.

In addition, Fox has restricted McFarland’s travel to the southern and eastern districts of New York and the state of New Jersey and is requiring him to submit to drug testing, with all conditions to be met by July 7.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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