Fyre Festival organisers hit with lawsuit claiming they knew it was fraud

The plaintiff calls the festival a “Ponzi scheme” 

Jack Shepherd
Tuesday 09 May 2017 09:56 BST

Fyre Festival was, by most accounts, a disaster. Music lovers were left stranded in the Bahamas, struggling to leave the island after being promised a weekend of luxury.

According to a lawsuit against the festival’s creators, picked up by Mashable, they knew for weeks beforehand the event would be a "post-apocalyptic nightmare”.

Filed in a Californian federal court earlier this week, the plaintiff calls the event a “Ponzi scheme” and alleges damages ranging from $1,200 to $100,000 per attendee.

Law firm Geragos and Geragos — known for representing various celebrities, including Michael Jackson — originally filed a lawsuit last week, hoping to claim damages for one attendee who reportedly paid $2,000 for a ticket plus travel.

Now, the amended lawsuit claims “the festival itself was merely a front for a massive financial fraud akin to a Ponzi scheme in which the founders and (potentially “Seed Series Investors”) in Fyre Media Inc misappropriated funds from attendees.”

According to the lawsuit, over 300 individuals have personally reached out to Garagos, many of whom are “experienced personal physical injuries in the form of bacterial infection, heat exhaustion, and other illnesses” that are still being treated.

The plaintiff calls out Billy McFarland, Jeffrey Atkins (AKA Ja Rule), and Fyre Media, along with numerous other ‘investors’ who have yet to be named.

In a recently released email from a group of disgruntled Fyre Media staff to festival organiser McFarland they detail at length their concerns about the future of the business and are incredulous about the immediate commitment to a 2018 Fyre Festival.

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