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Fyre Festival under investigation by the FBI for all sorts of fraud
The Fyre rages on.
It looks like the FBI joined the growing list of individuals demanding answers from Billy McFarland, founder of Fyre Festival, and his collaborator, Ja Rule.
Fyre Festival has become the focus of a criminal investigation, with the FBI looking into possible mail, wire, and securities fraud, according to a report published by the New York Times on Sunday.
“The investigation is being conducted by the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and the FBI,” the story said. “It is being overseen by a prosecutor assigned to the complex frauds and cybercrime unit.”
The United States attorney’s office and the FBI declined to comment on the matter
Fyre Festival went viral after attendees expecting an ultra-luxe festival arrived on Great Exuma to find they barely had the essentials to survive.
— Matt Halfhill (@MattHalfhill) April 28, 2017
— Trevor DeHaas (@trev4president) April 28, 2017
Employees of Fyre Festival reportedly expressed concern over rumors of an FBI investigation, according to audio from a meeting at Fyre Media obtained by Vice News. At the time, McFarland didn’t seem very concerned.
“That’s really more of an individual thing,” McFarland said in the meeting.
Ironically, users on Twitter joked President Trump would select McFarland as the new FBI director two weeks ago.
— Jeremy Shaner (@shaner_english) May 9, 2017
FBI Director Ja Rule and the other guy who created Fyre Festival
— Brielle Ann (@brielleann) May 9, 2017
I am looking forward to Trump appointing to the FBI the dilapidated cheese "sandwich" from the FyreFestival
— Michael Dinerstein (@loudin) May 9, 2017
congratulations to new FBI director, the guy who planned Fyre Festival
— Julia Reinstein (@juliareinstein) May 9, 2017
Since the festival ended in disaster, seven lawsuits have been filed, with over 100 plaintiffs asking for millions of dollars. One lawsuit filed by National Event Services, the organization hired to provide medical services, said they arrived to find bug infestations, bloodstained mattresses, and no air conditioning.
To top everything off, headliner Blink-182 still has equipment tied up in “customs limbo,” and the festival owes a restaurant owner from the Bahamas $134,000.
McFarland and Ja Rule probably wish they hadn’t spent their entire budget on models and yachts.
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.