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Fyre Festival Organizer Billy McFarland Arrested For Wire Fraud

Fyre Fest Organizer Billy McFarland Arrested Wire Fraud
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Jul. 1 2017, Published 2:47 p.m. ET

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Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland was arrested and charged with one count of wire fraud In Manhattan on Friday, as PEOPLE has reported.

McFarland, 25, was charged in connection with a scheme to defraud investors, which included misrepresenting financial information about his company, Fyre Media, according to the report.

As readers know, while the Fyre Festival promised to be like the popular Coachella music event, except in the Bahamas with stunning beach side villas and yachts with models draped over the top. But instead, guests arrived to find "horrific conditions" and the Fyre fest was canceled.

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While fans expected performances from Blink 182, Rae Sremmurd, Skepta to G.O.O.D. Music acts Desiigner, Tyga, and Pusha T, the event collapsed in April, leaving hundreds of festival goers stranded without proper accommodations, electricity and barely any food, according to internet haters.

According to reports, tents weren't set up, bathrooms weren't available, and theft took place.

Kendall Jenner helped announce the event, with Instagram images of fellow models Bella Handid and Emily Ratajkowski posing in bikinis.

According to reports, the Fyre mess caused investor Oleg Itkin to file a lawsuit against the organizers for almost $1 million dollars in damages.

Itkin claimed McFarland gave him misleading information about the event’s expected revenue they’d earn by November 2017 — allegedly showing $932 million in earnings.

The Manhattan investor said in his court docs that he handed over $700,000 to the party planners from January to April, but was stunned when he heard it was a massive fraud from the beginning.

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Itkin is demanding the organizers pay him back every penny, plus $250,000 in fees for the court battle.

But McFarland wanted the Itkin lawsuit against him thrown out of court, recently learned.

He wants the case NOT to be heard in public pointing to a clause in the agreement stating all issues must be resolved in Arbitration, not in New York court.

And as reported, investors aren’t the only ones furious about the nightmare. Festival goers Chelsea Chinery, Shannon McAuliffe and Desiree Flores are suing Ja Rule, Billy McFarland and Fyre Media for breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and fraud over the chaotic event.

Kendall Jenner
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Now, as PEOPLE has reported, McFarland was arrested and charged with one count of wire fraud and Joon H. Kim, the Acting U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, said in a statement, "McFarland promised a 'life changing' music festival but in actuality delivered a disaster. McFarland allegedly presented fake 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."

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McFarland had told Rolling Stone in defending himself that that the island in the Bahamas for Fyre Festival "didn’t have a really great infrastructure — there wasn’t a great way to get guests in here — we were a little bit ambitious.

"It was almost like we tried building a city out of nothing and it took almost all of our personal resources to make this happen," McFarland said.

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