Tag Archives: wire fraud

Fyre Festival founder arrested and charged with wire fraud


Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland was arrested and charged with one count of wire fraud Friday for allegedly defrauding investors with his disastrous music festival that left hundreds of well-heeled millennials stranded in the Bahamas and millions of dollars in investments and ticket sales unaccounted for.

McFarland, the 26-year-old CEO of Magnises, a concierge company, and Fyre Media, an app to book performing artists for private events, will spend the night in jail. He is expected to be arraigned before a judge on Saturday, Joon Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

 “As alleged, William McFarland promised a ‘life changing’ music festival but in actuality delivered a disaster,” Joon said. “McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival. Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, McFarland will now have to answer for his crimes.”

Prosecutors allege McFarland began the criminal scheme in late 2016, right around the time he announced the Fyre Festival through a well-orchestrated marketing campaign involving hundreds of so-called Instagram “influencers,” including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin.

According to the criminal complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, McFarland lied to at least two investors about how much the company was worth, eventually inducing them to invest around $1.2 million in the festival based on assertions that Fyre was making millions of dollars in revenue. In fact, prosecutors say, the company had earned only $60,000 over the past year.

McFarland also allegedly doctored a stock ownership statement to convince one of those unnamed investors that he held more than $2.5 million in shares in an unnamed company to use as collateral in the deal.

Though the complaint doesn’t specifically list the stock or the investor, a brokerage statement purporting to show McFarland as the owner of $2,565,079.18 in Facebook stock is listed as an exhibit in a civil suit filed by investor Oleg Itkin, who gave McFarland a $700,000 loan. Prosecutors say McFarland did own shares of Facebook stock — but only about $1,400 worth.

It’s not clear who is representing McFarland, who was dropped by his legal team Hughes, Hubbard & Reed LLP, on Wednesday. Michael Levine, a Westchester attorney, is listed as McFarland’s incoming attorney in a signed affidavit in the Itkin case. But reached by phone Friday night, Levine denied any involvement in the criminal case and said he was merely involved in the civil case as local counsel for a California firm which he declined to name.

Here’s a promotional video for the ill-fated Fyre Festival, which was canceled soon after it began in April:

Cover: Billy McFarland and Carol Mac attend The 23rd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction at The Watermill Center on July 30, 2016 in Water Mill, NY. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via G Images)

Sourced From – https://news.vice.com/story/fyre-festival-founder-arrested-and-charged-with-wire-fraud

6 pharma executives face criminal charges for alleged fentanyl racketeering scheme

Six pharmaceutical executives who worked for Chandler, Ariz.-based Insys Therapeutics were arrested Thursday on charges that they led a nationwide conspiracy to bribe clinicians to unnecessarily prescribe fentanyl-based pain medication, according to the Department of Justice.

The government claims the executives conspired to bribe physicians and medical practitioners in several states, many of whom worked in pain clinics, to prescribe their pain medication called Subsys. This narcotic contains fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic opioid, and is intended to treat cancer patients suffering intense episodes of breakthrough pain.

In exchange for kickbacks and bribes, practitioners allegedly wrote large numbers of prescriptions for patients, few of whom were diagnosed with cancer. The indictment also alleges the former Insys executives conspired to defraud health insurers that showed reluctance to approve payment for Subsys when it was prescribed to non-cancer patients. The defendants allegedly did so by establishing a “reimbursement unit” that obtained prior authorization directly from insurers and pharmacy benefit managers.

Here are the names of the defendants, all of whom are no longer employed by Insys Therapeutics, along with the respective charges they face:

  • Michael Babich, former president and CEO: conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Law
  • Alec Burlakoff, former vice president of sales: Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act conspiracy, mail fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Law
  • Richard M. Simon, former national director of sales: RICO conspiracy, mail fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Law
  • Sunrise Lee, former regional sales director: RICO conspiracy, mail fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Law
  • Joseph A. Rowan, former regional sales director: RICO conspiracy, mail fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Law
  • Michael J. Gurry, former vice president of managed markets: RICO conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy

Criminal charges are rarely pressed in cases involving pharmaceutical companies, and several agents noted the severity of the charges in statements.

Full Read – http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/legal-regulatory-issues/6-pharma-executives-face-criminal-charges-for-alleged-fentanyl-racketeering-scheme.html

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