Fyre Festival Promoter Billy McFarland Pleads Guilty To Fraud, Faces 10 Years In Prison
It’s been close to a year since 26-year-old Billy McFarland teamed up with Ja Rule to produce the disaster that was Fyre Festival.
McFarland promised a “life-changing” music festival in the Bahamas headlined by Migos and Blink-182 and hyped by Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, and other social media influencers. Instead, festival goers were left on the island without food, water, or accommodations.
But the event wasn’t just bad, it was criminal.
McFarland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and in a Manhattan Federal Court, admitted to defrauding 80 investors and doctoring documents to secure over $26 million to put on the Fyre Festival last April.
“McFarland repeatedly made materially false statements to investors about Fyre Media’s revenue and income, and manipulated Fyre Media’s financial statements and supporting documentation to hide Fyre Media’s true financial condition.”
NPR reports that the two counts of wire fraud each carry a maximum of 20 years in prison but McFarland will likely face eight to 10 years and a fine of up to $300,000 under a plea agreement.
“I deeply regret my actions, and I apologize to my investors, team, family and supporters who I let down,” McFarland said in court, according to the Associated Press.
Prison time isn’t the only thing looming over McFarland. His company, Fyre Media, faces more than a dozen civil suits and bankruptcy liquidation of the company, the money used to pay back investors and ticket buyers.
McFarland’s sentence is scheduled for June 21.