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Kendall Jenner And Other Models May Have To Testify In Fyre Festival Fraud Case
In the wake of the disasterous Fyre Festival, Kendall Jenner may be heading to court to explain a massive payment she reportedly received for posting about Billy McFarland's elaborate scam on Instagram.
Some of the biggest names in fashion, music, and modeling, including Kendall Jenner and Soulja Boy, may be brought to court in an attempt to track down the $26 million dollars supposedly spent by failed Fyre Festival mastermind Billy McFarland.
A judge in New York has approved a request from the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of Fyre Media to subpoena records from third parties, meaning that Jenner, along with fellow influencers and fashion icons Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, could be dragged into legal proceedings in order to obtain more information on payments made by McFarland while he attempted to establish the ultimate luxury experience, according to ABC News.
One subpoena names IMG Models, a high-profile agency that represents Hadid, Hailey Bieber and Elsa Hosk amongst other hugely important figures in the industry, according to The New York Post. Another specifically names Jenner, in the hopes of having her answer questions about the more than $200,000 she was supposedly paid for posting on her Instagram about the festival and Kanye West's promised appearance (Jenner's post has since been deleted.)
And yet another subpoena names the agency representing Ratajkowski, DNA Model Management, which was supposedly paid close to $300,000 by McFarland in 2017, according to Billboard.
Several models had appeared in promotional materials for the days-long party McFarland, who is currently incarcerated, had planned in the Bahamas. The footage used in marketing for the festival was obtained long before McFarland had actually secured a venue for the event or planned several key aspects of the bacchanal, as shown in the recently released documentaries "Fyre" and "Fyre Fraud."
Trustee Gregory Messer is asking courts to help him track down $5.2 million worth of cash.
“The Trustee believes that these transfers were made from funds that belong to the Debtor in connection with the Fyre Festival,” the court documents state.
"The Trustee’s investigation of the Debtor’s financial affairs has been challenging due to the lack of basic disclosures, the failure of the Debtor to file basic bankruptcy schedules and a statement of financial affairs, and the incarceration of the Debtor’s principal, Billy McFarland," Messer's filing continued. "Due to the lack of basic disclosures and books and records, the Trustee has been forced to obtain critical financial information related to the Debtor through third parties."
Along with the several models the court is hoping to speak with, Messer is additionally issuing subpoenas to artists Soulja Boy and Waka Flocka Flame, who were each paid over $1000,000 to promote or use the Fyre Media app, a booking service created by McFarland. Messer also wants to subpoena Jerry Media, the controversial marketing company behind much of Fyre Festival's advertisements, and several other individuals listed as consultants or financial advisors.
McFarland, a young entrepreneur with a long history of ambitious, failed enterprises, was sentenced to six years in federal prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges in October of 2018.
McFarland had been attempting to create a new paradigm of opulence with the founding of Fyre Festival in 2017. What guests, who in some cases paid $100,000 for tickets, discovered upon arriving was not the rich experience they were promised: attendees were forced to stay in FEMA tents amidst packs of roving, feral dogs and a lacked food and water. Performers and celebrities canceled their appearances at the last second while images of the snafu were spread on social media. McFarland faced a plethora of lawsuits in the wake of the public debacle.
[Photo: Kendall Jenner by Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images]