Federal authorities arrested Frye Festival founder Billy Mcfarland this week, the tech entrepreneur will appear in Federal court to face a myriad of charges including wire fraud.
The indictment goes way beyond the failed Frye Music festival.
Federal prosecutors have focused on the initial funding of the company Frye Media.
Mr. Mcfarland is charged with misleading two investors about revenue Frye Media was generating prior to $1.2 million being invested into the company.
Mcfarland told investors he has generated millions of dollars in revenue, and presented documentation that supported his claims.
According to the indictment, Mcfarland earned roughly $60,000 in revenue, which would represent a massive fraud, and the misrepresentation put Mcfarland in a position where he could be facing 20 years in jail.
The disasterous Frye Music Festival motivated investigators to take a good hard look at Frye Media’s finances, and they dug up enough information to seek a devastasting indictment against McFarland.
“As alleged, William McFarland promised a ‘life changing’ music festival, but in actuality delivered a disaster,” Joon Kim, the acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney, said in a statement. “McFarland allegedly presented false documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival. Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, McFarland will now have to answer for his crimes.”
The Frye Music Festival convinced consumers to purchase expensive all inclusive ticket packages while making a series of promises.
These packages were as expensive as $5,000 according to ABC.
Food, hotel, drinks, and world class music.
The organizers also developed a currency that could be generated by using a credit card, the currency would absolve visitors of having to possess hard cash as it was supposedly transferable for the basic amenities of the event.
The organizers pulled over a million dollars prior to the festival, but somehow failed to pay the import fees on goods needed to stage the event.
The government in the Bahamas was not having it, and put the kibosh on the festival while it was in motion.
When the materials did not arrive, the festival was done, and the people who paid thousands of dollars were stuck in the Bahamas.
No place to sleep, eat, or relax, innocent consumers were forced to live like nomads.
There was images of people sleeping in the airport as individual outbound flights were an entire weekend away from taking off.
A large group of people didn’t have any money because they were led to believe they would not need to bring it.
Jeffery Atkins aka “Ja Rule”, was an influential player in the creation of the festival, but was not arrested this week.
At the very least he is a witness, at the very worse he is cooperating with authorities, there was too much money lost for him to not be accountable.
It’s unlikely that McFarland will spend 20 years in jail, that would be an extreme penalty.
However the clear anger of the US attorney, and the $100 million class action lawsuit will have him singing the blues for years to come.