Billy McFarland Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud Charges
Last year the Fyre Festival made headlines being the worst organized music festival of all time, leaving attendees stranded and without money due guests placing all funds on a ‘sync-pay’ account.
Fyre Music Festival was to be the new island getaway version of Coachella, boasting a star-studded lineup on a remote tropical island (claimed to once be owned by Pablo Escobar). With expensive ticket promising a glamour experience, when they provided means that can be compared to a refugee camp.
McFarland claims that he had the island set up for the concert but a storm blew away all the progress, when there were limited infrastructure and supplies that proved to be false. The guests were not only trapped on a remote island but the organizers insisted that guests place all the funds needed for the event on an sync-pay account, leaving them with no funds.
The festival performers were told days in advanced that the festival was cancelled, with many artists representation saying that they have yet to be paid for the performance. While performers were notified not to come, the guests were not. The festival was set over the span of two weekends, leaving guests stranded for over a week.
McFarland promised that he will refund all guests and was bold enough to give them the option to for-go receiving refunds, receiving 2018 tickets to Fyre Festival. He was arrested for fraud charges in July 2017 when he was released on a $300,000 bail. McFarland also plead guilty for lying to an unnamed ticket broker who he persuaded to buy a $2 million block of advanced tickets that would be staged in the future.
Recently McFarland admits to Manhattan federal court that he defrauded 80 investors and falsified documents in order to secure more funds for the festival. He plead guilty to the two counts of wire fraud with each charge carrying a maximum of 20 years in prison, but is likely facing a sentence of eight to ten years with a fine up to $300,000.
This is the first of many civil suits that McFarland and Fyre media will be facing in the near future. They are also filing for bankruptcy and are liquidating the company as investors and ticket buyers are trying to recover from the financial loss.
Hulu just approved production for a docuseries about Fyre Festival with the premiere set for 2019.
September 18, 2018
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