This article originally appeared on Noisey US.
Over the past few weeks, the disastrous Fyre Festival has been the source of endless social media jokes. The Bahamas-based music festival started by entrepreneur Billy McFarland was sold as a luxurious upgrade of what the market had to offer, with celebrities like Ja Rule, Kendall Jenner, and Bella Hadid promoting it. It turned out to be a disaster, with photos of school lunch-looking meals and broken down tents being shared online by would-be attendees. A recent report by The New York Times revealed that McFarland and others involved in planning the festival are now under federal investigation.
Festival organisers have already been the target of lawsuits as a result of the event's failure to deliver on what it offered. Now, according to the Times, the matter has taken an even more serious turn:
The endeavour has also become the focus of a criminal investigation, with federal authorities looking into possible mail, wire and securities fraud, according to a source with knowledge of the matter, who was not authorised to discuss it. The investigation is being conducted by the United States attorney's office for the Southern District of New York and the F.B.I.; it is being overseen by a prosecutor assigned to the complex frauds and cybercrime unit.
Federal authorities have yet to comment on the matter. Included in the festival's alleged debts are nearly $5,000 (~£4,445), to a commissioned carpenter, $134,000 (~£119,000) to a hired caterer, and $330,000 (~£293,000) in customs fees to the Bahamian government.
Photo: William N Finley IV via Twitter
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