The Fyre Festival meltdown continues — As seen in documentaries by Netflix and Hulu, the music festival fantasy-turned-frankenstein of rapper Ja Rule and young entrepreneur Billy McFarland has left scorching legal repercussions. Founder, fraud, and convicted felon Billy McFarland kept no accounting records regarding the millions of dollars spent in the months prior to the tropical catastrophe. So where exactly did all this money go?
In an effort to track down the $11.3 million paid out by McFarland, a bankruptcy judge has granted subpoenas for two modeling agencies which were involved in paid advertisement for the festival. The agencies in question, DNA Models and IMG Models, supplied the talent for the festival’s 2017 promotional video in the Bahamas. The supermodel cast included the likes of Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Baldwin, and others. Kendall Jenner personally faces her own subpoena after allegedly accepting a payment of $250,000 for one instagram post about Fyre Festival. According to Billboard, Messer has also asked to subpoena 16 companies involved with travel, staging, food, and beverage for the event, totaling $4.7 million in payments.
According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) influencers and marketers are required by law to clearly disclose any “material connection” regarding their social media posts. Monetary payment, business or family relationships, and gift of free product all fall under the umbrella of material connection.
In total, investors and customers lost roughly $26 million according to a statement from Geoffrey Berman, Manhattan US attorney and bankruptcy trustee. McFarland was found guilty on multiple counts of fraud and is currently serving a sentence of six-years in federal prison.
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