The Guy Responsible For Fyre Festival Is Facing 10 Years In Jail For Fraud
McFarland plead guilty in a Manhattan court earlier today.
Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland will spend up to 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges in a Manhattan court earlier today.
Initially faced with a 40-year sentence, McFarland entered into a plea deal with prosecutors and agreed to serve up to a decade in prison for lying to investors and sending false documents.
If you don’t remember: Fyre Festival was lavishly promoted as the “cultural moment” of 2017, a luxurious and super-exclusive camping event in the Bahamas headlined by Migos and Blink-182.
It was being spearheaded by McFarland and (weirdly) rapper Ja Rule, and was spruiked across social media by celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski. Essentially, it was meant to be the Instagram moment of our lives.
In reality, Fyre was an absolute shitstorm. Festival-goers (who had forked out thousands of dollars for tickets) arrived to a site that was barely set up, and served food that was sold as “gourmet” but was actually just a slice of cheese on some bread. The bands were nowhere to be seen.
Fyre Media (the company owned by McFarland) was subsequently slapped with lawsuit after lawsuit from angry punters, including a class-action suit for $100 million. In June, McFarland was arrested and charged with wire fraud.
“I deeply regret my actions, and I apologise to my investors, team, family and supporters who I let down,” McFarland told U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in court yesterday.
“I grossly underestimated the resources that would be necessary to hold an event of this magnitude,” he added. “In an attempt to raise what I thought were needed funds, I lied to investors about various aspects of Fyre Media and my personal finances. Those lies included false documents and information.”
He also admitted to lying to a ticket vendor about Fyre Media’s financial position, in order to induce them to pay $2 million for a block of advance tickets.
McFarland is due to be sentenced on June 21.
— Trevor DeHaas (@trev4president) April 28, 2017
— Wakanda business do you think I’m running here?! (@_maleficentt) April 28, 2017