Lawsuits are piling up against 27-year-old concert promoter and band manager Tyler Fey, the youngest son of the late rock-and-roll promoter Barry Fey and a partner at Feyline, a concert-promotion brand that his father used to put Red Rocks on the map as a rock-concert destination.
On Monday, August 20, Tyler was served with two suits accusing him of fraud, according to attorney Ian Hicks, who filed the complaints in Denver District Court on August 21; these followed an initial lawsuit filed in El Paso County District Court on July 18 that accused Fey of fraud. The suit also named his partners at Feyline and his attorney.
One of the two new suits was filed by Fey's ex-girlfriend, singer-songwriter and 2011 American Idol finalist Julie Zorrilla. She was dating Tyler, when, on April 4, 2013, a fight between the couple escalated after he slammed a door, accidentally hitting her shoulder, Zorrilla says, and then closed a door on her right wrist, leaving a mark.
She threatened to call the police, but Tyler beat her to it, and authorities arrested him, according to Zorrilla and police reports. He was initially charged with assault. Following that incident, the family got a restraining order against Zorrilla. Barry Fey died a few weeks later, on April 28.
The charges against Tyler were dismissed by the Arapahoe County District Attorney on December 20, 2013.
Over the years, Zorrilla and Tyler have reconnected, sometimes tethering their professional lives to each other and other times squabbling, she says.
According to the suit, in the fall of 2016 Zorrilla was "enjoying a thriving musical career" in the United Arab Emirates, where she had settled with a new boyfriend. Tyler reached out, claiming an investor, Jordan Crudo of Papillon Pavilion Records, would put up money to produce her dream album. Crudo and PPR are also named as defendants in Zorrilla's suit.
Zorrilla's boyfriend quit his job in Dubai, and the couple moved back to the United States to work on the record, basing their decision on Crudo's offer of "approximately $100,000 to fund the production of Julie's album, in addition to approximately [sic] pre-approved monthly living expenses so Julie could focus on the album," according to the suit. PPR threw a party celebrating Zorrilla's project and to announce the launch of the label on March 11, 2017.
The suit claims that promises offered by "Tyler, Jordan and PPR's representations were knowingly and intentionally false when made," and that Tyler knew Crudo had defaulted on "other projects, agreements, promises and obligations owed to other parties."
The suit continues: "Jordan and PPR were, and remain, a notorious ensemble of deadbeats, and that reputation was known to Tyler at the time he contacted Julie about getting entangled with their web of lies and deceit, and throughout the time period when the Contract was being negotiated and executed."
Throughout contract negotiation, attorney Eric Griffin, who is also named in the suit, gave Zorrilla "bad advice," the document states, telling her the contract was "artist-friendly." He "instructed her to execute a separate agreement between herself and the producers that would have made her liable for paying the producers the approximately $100,000 to produce her album rather than Jordan and PPR, falsely advised her that the separate agreement did not make her financially responsible for that payment when it obviously did..."
Crudo and PPR paid a mere $400 to Zorrilla. Tyler told her he would find a replacement investor but never did, the complaint claims. "Both repeatedly made statements through 2017 and 2018 to the effect that they finally had a $40,000 check but miraculously did not know how to deposit it, made false statements about wiring funds into Julie's account, and promised to make other payments that never materialized," it continues.
Zorrilla, who had no other source of income, could not afford food and lost so much weight that her clothes did not fit, she tells Westword. She sent photos of her shrinking waistline to Tyler but says they did not move him to find a new investor. "I couldn't believe how much he doesn't care," she says.
The suit's claims can get dramatic: "While Tyler was posting on Instagram about his various travels to South Beach in Miami, gorging himself on foie gras and several hundred dollar plates of sushi, Julie was eating like a prisoner on Devil's Island."
Despite her pleas, Zorrilla says, neither Crudo nor Tyler gave her the money promised. "The best Tyler could do was to provide Julie a check for $500 for monies he owed her from a separate transaction, but then tell her not to cash it," the suit claims, adding that weeks passed before she deposited it.
Last month, Tyler, Crudo, PPR, Griffin and partners at Feyline were sued by Jason Huffer in El Paso County. Huffer was one of the main investors in Feyline's ill-fated New Year's Eve on the Rocks concert, which was billed as the first-ever New Year's Eve concert at Red Rocks, headlined by Post Malone, Migos and Young Thug. It was ultimately moved to Magness Arena, a sports venue at the University of Denver, because ticket sales were sluggish and the weather would be cold — not exactly a shocker for a December 31 date.
After Huffer's complaint — which accuses Tyler and his team of securities fraud, incompetence and making unapproved charges on Huffer's personal credit card, among other things — was filed, Tyler reached out to Zorrilla "and randomly began telling her that he loves her, after letting her twist in the wind for months, apparently to prevent her from cooperating in the securities fraud litigation," her own suit states.
Her claim continues: "His attempts to silenced [sic] her went even further, over time, to the point that he now claims he has money to pay Julie, but will not pay it unless she promises not to cooperate fully in the securities fraud litigation with the parties who are adverse to Tyler."
Tyler's attorney, Timothy Epstein, tells Westword in a statement, "Tyler wanted to see Julie actualize her dream album, and Tyler introduced Julie to Jordan Crudo, who had a newly founded record label. Apparently, Jordan was not able to fund Julie’s album. Neither Tyler nor Feyline was involved on Julie’s record deal."
The second lawsuit that Tyler was served on August 20 was from Amy Flax, who "provided marketing and consulting services" for the New Year's Eve on the Rocks concert, according to the complaint.
Tyler and the business he set up to promote the concert, RR NYE LLC, failed to pay Flax for her services, according to the suit, which also makes claims about Tyler and his team over promising returns to investors and defrauding Huffer.
"At the time that Tyler hired Amy — whom he repeatedly referred to as 'family' in promising that she would get paid — 166.6% of the revenue and profits, which would be the source of funds used to pay Amy, were already depleted and unavailable," Flax's suit claims. "Tyler knew that his actions in failing to properly plan the Concert and his apparent theft and mismanagement of Concert funds made it highly unlikely he would be able to pay Amy for her services. These material facts, which existed prior to hiring Amy and were known to Tyler and Company, were never disclosed to Amy."
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Attorney Epstein notes, "Amy was a family friend brought on to market the show. She was fully paid per the invoice that she submitted to the LLC prior to her beginning any work for the LLC. Three months after the show, Amy asked for additional money that appears to be for work she had already been compensated for."
But Zorrilla, who now describes Tyler Fey as "a sad phony," cautions: "Don't do business with him if you ever want to make any money."
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Tyler Fey was not charged after he was arrested during a domestic dispute with Julie Zorrilla in 2013. He was charged, but the case was dismissed.