The organizer of the “Fyre Competition of Pizza” — who burned attendees by charging $75 for tiny slices of pie — has been banned from organizing festivals in New York and should pay over $300,000 in restitution, in line with officers.
Ishmael Osekre was accused of scamming hundreds of individuals into shopping for tickets for 2016’s New York Metropolis African Meals Competition and 2017’s New York Metropolis Pizza and Burger Festivals — after which by no means delivering on the promised leisure and grub, the New York Legal professional Basic’s Workplace mentioned Thursday.
Brooklyn Supreme Courtroom Justice Francois Rivera final month signed a court docket order banning Osekre from any involvement in occasions and festivals in New York and ordered him to pay $311,398 in restitution and penalties — with $111,198 going to duped clients and $150,000 going to the state, the AG mentioned.
Osekre should put down a $500,000 bond — and repay the restitution and penalties in full — if he desires to take part in organizing any future occasions.
“Ishmael Osekre’s fraudulent schemes had been an epic recipe for catastrophe that scammed New Yorkers out of their money and time,” mentioned AG Letitia James mentioned in a ready assertion. “Right this moment’s order bans this shameless particular person from ever finishing up the sort of unlawful enterprise in our state.”
Attendees of the pizza and burger occasions held in Brooklyn on September 9, 2017 complained of only receiving “tiny little slivers of pizza” after shelling out $55 to $75 for tickets that they purchased on web sites together with EventBrite and GoldStar. In addition they mentioned that there have been no burgers in any respect on the occasion.
The AG’s workplace mentioned that clients purchased the tickets — that included VIP packages, drinks, video games and different leisure — believing false on-line advertisements that toted limitless meals samples.
Then-AG Eric Schneiderman opened up an investigation over the botched occasions in October 2017 following outrage on social media and complaints to the workplace.
Days later, Osekre promised refunds to all event-goers.
He allegedly carried out an identical scheme the 12 months prior with the African Meals Competition the place $100,000-worth of tickets had been offered. Osekre allegedly saved all the cash for himself quite than holding the occasion.
The ticket web sites refunded the price of tickets to over 1,100 patrons following a flood of complaints, officers alleged.
The AG’s workplace filed a case in opposition to Osekre and his firm African Meals Competition LLC, in August 2019. After, Osekre failed to reply to the lawsuit, Rivera entered a default judgment in opposition to him.
Osekre didn’t instantly return a request for remark.