While the recent release of two equally problematic Fyre Fest documentaries by rival streaming sites Hulu and Nexflix have been at the center of recent discussions about the failed music festival, the Fyre Media bankruptcy case is unfolding in court. Gregory M. Messer, the court-appointed liquidation trustee for Fyre Media, has been filing motions with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking permission to subpoena some of the involved parties in the failed fest in an attempt to pin-point where exactly tens of millions of dollars of investor money went.
Thanks to festival organizer Billy McFarland’s “failure to file required [documentation] and a statement of financial affairs” in connection with the $26 million he raised to stage the festival, Messer says he has been “required to uncover as much information as he can from third parties in order to gain a full understanding of [Fyre Media’s] financial affairs.”
This fact-finding mission, which will ideally result in the distribution of lost funds to investors, has seen Messer seeking – and receiving court authorization – to subpoena an array of entities tied to Fyre Fest to provide him with information related to money spent on fest. Thus far, this has included Fyre Fest co-founder/rapper Ja Rule, various talent agencies, such as Los Angeles-based giant, CAA, NUE Agency, and ICM Partners, and American Airlines, Starr Restaurants Catering Group, and American Express, just to name a few.
"In this case, the [agencies] are the only source the Trustee has to gain a full understanding of the nature of the [wire] transfers” leading up to the event, which was slated to take place on an island in the Bahamas on two consecutive weekends in April and May 2017, per Messer.
As of this past week, Messer added a bunch of new names to his list. This time around, in his fourth round of subpoena requests, he is focusing on $5.3 million that was paid to various modeling agencies, including IMG and DNA, which rep Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Elsa Hosk, Hailey Baldwin, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Gizele Oliveira, among other models that appeared in Fyre Fest marketing materials and promoted the fest on their social media accounts.
Kendall Jenner Inc., the incorporated entity for Kendall Jenner, who was paid $250,000 in connection with the festival, is also named in Messer’s latest filing, as is Jerry Media, Instagram influencer Elliot Tebele’s media agency, which orchestrated the marketing of the epic failure of a music fest, and United Talent Agency, Barclay Development LLC, Chef Ellis Duff Pastries Catering, and Zero Party LLC, among others.
Messer, a New York-based bankruptcy lawyer, was appointed to assist the court after a New York federal judge placed Fyre Fest production company Fyre Media in bankruptcy in August 2017, following the filing of an involuntary Chapter 7 petition a month prior by John Nemeth, Raul Jimenez and Andrew Newman, who collectively invested $530,000 in McFarland’s venture.
UPDATE (Jan. 28, 2019): As of Monday, the court has authorized Messer “to examine (i) IMG Models, LLC; (ii) Barclay Development LLC; (iii) Raymond Andrews; (iv) DNA Model Management LLC; (v) Landry & Kling, Inc.; (vi) Kendall Jenner Inc.; (vii) Gusto; (viii) Aircraft Services Group, Inc. (ix) Special Events Flooring; (x) JP Gutfreund; (xi) Chef Ellis Duff Pastries Catering; (xii) Bricksquad Monopoly Inc.; (xiii) C.F. Butler Associates; (xiv) MPR Audio Systems LLC; (xv) Healthpass Insurance; (xvi) N.C. Macduffs Ltd.; (xvii) Deandre Way; (xviii) Leroy Archer; (xix) Brooklyn Events Center, LLC; (xx) Eyes Above Water LLC; (xxi) Guildsmith; (xxii) Zero Party LLC; (xxiii) Jerry Media, LLC; and (xxiv) United Talent Agency.”
The bankruptcy case is Fyre Festival LLC, 1:17-bk-11883 (SDNY).