The wreckage of Fyre Festival is still smoldering: Billy McFarland, organiser and entrepreneur, is being forced to answer for his role in organising the doomed island fest. According to the New York Times, McFarland has been arrested by FBI agents and charged with a count of wire fraud, for which he could face up to 20 years in federal prison. This adds to his ongoing legal woes, as he's already being sued for $100 (£77.2) million in a class-action lawsuit that "was closer to The Hunger Games or Lord of the Flies than Coachella." Yes, those are the actual words from the suit filing.
“McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival," said Joon H. Kim, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who took over the post after Preet Bharara was fired by Donald Trump. The Times also details some of the ways McFarland scammed his way through Fyre's organisation: the criminal complaint revealed that the faked documents purported McFarland's ownership stake in his company was $2.5 (£1.93) million, when the actual value of his shares were $1,500 (£1,158). Uh, that is a huge difference. The prestigious SDNY prosecutor's office regularly investigates crimes related to financial dealings, and they are exactly the kind of people best experienced to handle the fraud charges McFarland is being charged with.
It's important to note that rapper Ja Rule, who was a co-founder of Fyre Festival, is not being charged with any crimes. An emerging picture paints McFarland as being the con artist mastermind behind the luxury festival-turned-Battle Royale. Fyre Festival was initially billed as a "life-changing cultural moment," on a remote island, promoted by Instagram celebs like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid. It turned out to be an absolute catastrophe with little food, no electricity, and poorly-equipped disaster relief tents that blew away in the wind.
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