Famous Models Who Promoted Fyre Festival Scam Subpoenaed Over Millions Invested In Event
The Fyre Festival scam is moving forward in the courts. Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and other models, Instagram influencers and artists who promoted the festival and vouched for it may very well be subpoenaed concerning payments they received from organizer Billy McFarland. The trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of Fyre Media has asked a judge for a new round of subpoenas for the celebrities who helped build hype around the ill-fated festival in the Bahamas.
This would include Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, Emily Ratajkowski, and the beautiful crowd who like to play in the pristine blue waters of the Caribbean. They starred in a video that induced serious ‘fear of missing out’ among social media enthusiasts and drove thousands to purchase tickets for the event. It was to take place over two weekends in the spring of 2017. Not so much.
Two years later, the investigation into the festival continues. Authorities want to know what happened to an estimated $26 million that McFarland raised from his investors for the festival. He then paid out huge chunks of the money months before the Fyre Festival flopped. The whole episode left thousands of revelers broke and stranded. Investors were swindled out of millions of dollars. Now McFarland sits behind bars.
Trustee Gregory Messer’s latest filing is seeking answers on $5.3 million worth of payments. One of the subpoenas has been served to IMG Models. That’s the agency that represents supermodels such as Hadid, Bieber, and Elsa Hosk. Messer has stated that IMG received payments totaling $1.2 million from McFarland between November 2016 and February 2017.
Jenner received a $250,000 payment back in January of 2017. Four months later she posted on Instagram that some members of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music family would be performing at Fyre Festival. That earned her a subpoena in the case. The post has since been deleted. She also did not say whether she was being paid for the Instagram post, which prompted a Federal Trade Commission warning about disclosure rules for sponsored social media posts.
DNA Model Management will also get a subpoena. They represent Emily Ratajkowski. They were also paid $299,000 by McFarland in March 2017. Jerry Media, another agency that promoted the Fyre Festival, received a $90,000 payment in March of 2017. That particular company ignored numerous warning signs that all was not as it seemed and they deleted complaints from customers on social media.
From The Daily Mail:
“Messer is also reportedly requesting to subpoena some of the artists paid to promote or use the Fyre Media app, which was intended to allow fans to book appearances directly, cutting out the booking agent middle man.
“He is specifically looking into a $115,000 payment to Soulja Boy in August 2016 and a $150,000 payment to Waka Flocka Flame around the same time.
“United Talent Agency, which was paid $90,000 in February 2017, is expected to be subpoenaed along with cruise ship charter company Landry & Kling, private aviation provider Aircraft Services and pastry chef Ellis Duff.
“A number of consultants are facing subpoenas as well: Raymond Andrews, a ‘festival consultant/investor’ who was paid $405,8000; JP Gutfreund, also listed as ‘festival consultant/investor’ and paid $180,000; and LeRoy Archer, the chairman of the Bahamas National Sports Authority who was paid $100,000 in April 2017, just days before the festival.
“Earlier this month, a judge granted subpoenas ordering talent agencies including Paradigm to reveal information on $1.4million in payments to artists booked to play at Fyre Festival.
“Those included $250,000 paid to CAA, the agency representing headliner Blink 182, and another $250,000 paid to ICM Partners, which represented performers Rae Sremmurd, Migos and Lil Yachty at the time.
“Windish Agency and AM Only, which had become part of Paradigm at the beginning of 2017, had received $690,000 in payment for acts including Major Lazer and Disclosure.
“Subpoenas have also been requested for 16 companies involved with staging, travel and food and beverage at the event, representing $4.7million.
“In total, the subpoenas represent $11.3million in payments so far.”
Messer was appointed to oversee Fyre Festival’s chapter seven involuntary bankruptcy in early 2017. There have now been two documentaries on the scam: Fyre Fraud on Hulu and Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened on Netflix.
The festival was billed as the event of the decade. The young, wealthy, famous and beautiful flocked to the Carribean to be part of it. Thousands of people showed up at the Grand Exuma Island only to find half-built shelter and second-rate food.
McFarland is serving a six-year sentence in federal prison over this. He pleaded guilty to multiple counts of fraud. No accounting records were kept during all of this. Rapper Ja Rule also backed the event.
It would appear that the beautiful crowd is going to have to answer for the non-event as well.
Sources: The Daily Mail