Billy McFarland, promoter of failed Fyre Festival, gets 6 years in prison

Lewis Collier
October 12, 2018

According to VICE News, 26-year-old Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland has been found guilty of multiple counts of fraud and sentenced to six years in prison. First, he admitted earlier this year he defrauded investors in the 2017 Fyre Festival.

McFarland was sentenced on Thursday, per the New York Times, for his elaborate festival scheme that promised luxury, celebrity, and music, but in reality left hundreds of ticketed attendees stranded on an island in the Bahamas. Prosecutors had argued for a longer sentence, calling McFarland "the consummate con artist" in a sentencing memorandum, and described him as remorseless, although defense attorneys said he had "unequivocally acknowledged" committing fraud.

McFarland and co-promoter Ja Rule made a decision to scrap the event, which resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of lawsuits, against both Billy McFarland, Ja Rule, and The Fyre Festival. "I lived every day with the weight of knowing that I literally destroyed the lives of my friends and family".

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Federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald waved off McFarland's apologies and pleas for leniency while delivering her sentences on the counts, which will run concurrently.

It's not the end of McFarland's legal woes: there are a number of class action lawsuits against himself and Fyre Media that are now waiting to be heard.

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