Fyre Festival reportedly under investigation by FBI for fraud
The New York Times reports the company behind Fyre Festival is under investigation by the FBI.
According to a source close to the matter, Billy McFarland’s Fyre Media is being investigated by the FBI for possible mail, wire and securities fraud. The investigation is being overseen by “a prosecutor assigned to the complex frauds and cybercrime unit.”
Fyre Festival was originally suppose to take place on a private island in the Bahamas at the end of April, and was promoted by celebrities via Instagram as one of the most coveted music festivals of the summer. However, the event was cancelled after attendees reported “refugee camp conditions” upon arrival.
The disaster of an event has left many attendees out of pocket but has been even worse for local businesses and residents. In a leaked call, Fyre Media told staff they would not be getting paid, but were welcome “to stay and help out”.
As the Times reports, local restaurant owners, event coordinators, and carpenters are still owed hundreds of thousands of dollars from the festival. One man, a local carpenter, says he was asked to work 18-hour days to build housing because organizers were in a rush to complete the venue before attendees arrived. He said he hasn’t been paid and told the Times his lights and water have been shut off because he couldn’t afford the bills. MaryAnn Rolle, a local restaurant owner, says Fyre still owes her $134,000 from the festival for providing food.
Much of the remaining equipment was rented from other companies, both locally and in the US. Bahamian authorities are holding some of the rented equipment because Fyre still owes the government more than $300,000. Some business owners are incurring much greater losses because they have less equipment to rent. One Miami company that furnished equipment estimates $10 million in unpaid fees and business lost.
What started off as a highly anticipated event has turned into a highly damaging situation for local business owners and residents living in the area. We will undoubtedly see more of the story unravel through FBI involvement within the next coming weeks.
Via: The New York Times