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When you go to a Harry Potter festival, you expect magic, not fraud.
Unfortunately, for one city and many vendors, the organizer of the most recent Warriors and Wizards Festival in Jefferson, Wisconsin, couldn’t summon enough credit to pay vendors and the city after the event. As a result, he was recently arrested and charged criminally for passing bad checks and bouncing credit card payments he owed in connection with the Warriors and Wizards Fest.
Notably, the organizer may not have intended to flake out on the money owed. The weather for the festival turned out to be absolutely anything but magical. It hailed, which drove away the usual crowds (attendance had reached 50,000 the prior year) who were expected to pay $35 each for entry.
Festival organizers often rely on attendees’ paying admission, as well as paying for other services, to cover the costs of events. Given the poor attendance due to the poor weather, it could very well be that the organizer was swept up in a perfect storm that knocked over his festival’s financial house of cards (that even relied on his mother’s credit cards, too).
Regardless, it seems the festival organizer is due in court next month to face theft by false representation charges. Those charges can land him in jail for a decade and saddle him with a $100k fine. Making matters worse, the city has also filed an action against the organizer’s company, HP Fans Inc., to recover money the city loaned the organizer for marketing and other purposes related to organizing the festival.
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