Business News Legal Live Business Top Stories

Mark Geragos expands his Fyre Festival litigation

By | Published on Wednesday 10 May 2017

Fyre Festival

So, this is a story that keeps on giving, isn’t it? With organisers of the failed Fyre Festival now facing at least six lawsuits in relation to their abandoned event, the lawyer behind the first of those has submitted new paperwork expanding on his allegations against the festival’s organisers.

Celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos filed the first class action lawsuit against Fyre Media and the festival’s co-founders Ja Rule and Billy McFarland 48 hours after the Bahamas-based event – billed as a luxury experience – was cancelled just as it was about to start. The cancellation left one set of festival-goers trapped on an island with minimal infrastructure and catering, while others got stuck on grounded planes that were meant to take them to the festival site.

In his amended lawsuit, filed in California on Monday, Geragos now accuses Fyre Festival’s organisers of fraud, claiming that they knew for weeks that their event would be a “post apocalyptic nightmare”, but that they went ahead anyway in the hopes of making huge sums of money.

Never one to shy away from dramatic allegations, Geragos goes on to claim that Ja Rule and McFarland set up the entire Fyre Festival venture “merely as a front for a massive financial fraud akin to a Ponzi scheme in which the founders … in Fyre Media Inc misappropriated funds from attendees”.

The lawyer goes on to say that he intends to add additional defendants to his class action in due course including – according to the Daily Telegraph – “a prominent socialite, a social media personality and a venture capitalist”, who were all seed investors in the Fyre venture.

Geragos argues that seed investors often have “roles, involvement and control” at and over companies they invest in, so therefore could be held liable for Fyre Festival’s decisions and actions.

The New York Post has subsequently linked investor Sam Yagan to the festival, and speculated that he could be the venture capitalist Geragos references. Though a rep for Yagan, a co-founder of dating service OkCupid and now Vice Chairman of the company that acquired his site, Match.com, said he only invested in the doomed festival’s app, not the wider business.

“We had no involvement in operating the business or the conception or execution of the Fyre Festival”, the spokesperson added, insisting that Yagan’s companies “unequivocally disavow the handling of the situation in the strongest possible terms”.


GET MORE CMU


SIGN UP TO CMU FOR FREE | GO PREMIUM | LISTEN TO THE CMU PODCAST | GET TRAINED

OR READ MORE ABOUT: |